Nesting for Change

by lisa st john

I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge—even wisdom. Like art. Toni Morrison

 

The idea of nesting invokes permanence, but I am not expecting a new baby. I am preparing for Change. Retiring from teaching public high school and moving on to writing full time is taking a risk, sure. But who are we if we don’t take risks? Retire is the wrong word. I am not withdrawing from anything, just adding on. I will always teach in some way, on some level. That’s what people in love with learning do.

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. ” Alvin Toffler

I spent most of yesterday changing my physical space to reflect changes in my head space. And that head space has been changing a great deal lately. The rage and pain and frustration of murder is straining against the temperament needed to create real change. That’s what the feminine does–create. Our masculine nature helps us fight, and our feminine nature helps us give. A recent workshop, Writing the Rage, Healing the Soul, with Dorothy Randall Gray was a true wake up call. The feelings of helplessness and fear during this literal pandemic (as well as a pandemic of the nation’s soul) were put in their place by Dorothy’s insight. She reminded us that rage has its purpose. Why now? Why George Floyd? What was the tipping point that finally got us enraged enough to riot, to protest? Perhaps it was that George Floyd called for us; he called out to The Mother in us all.


Calling all Grand Mothers” by Alice Walker

I am forever grateful to the International Women’s Writing Guild for introducing me to Dorothy and her idea of “fierce compassion.”

everything can be useful / except what is wasteful / (you will need
to remember this when you are accused of destruction.)
Audre Lorde

The changes of the past few months have put me through almost every conceivable emotion. But one thing is stable, and that is the power of voice.

I will not feel guilty because I have not physically marched in a protest; I have contributed, and will continue to contribute) to The Black Lives Matter movement in many other ways. I will not feel hopeless when I hear the rising death rates from the Coronavirus (COVID 19). I used, and will continue to use, everything in my power to stop the spread and to help those in need. I vote. I write. I lift. I change.

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Heather Cariou
Heather Cariou
2 months ago

What a lovely perspective and a beautifully rendered reflection. I feel nourished by your words. Thank you

Heidi Spadter
2 months ago

So glad you are able to write again!! Congratulations on retirement and this next chapter of your life!

Delia
2 months ago

I love to read your words and feel your passion for life, learning, and writing leap from the page into my mind. I am so happy that you are “adding to your life.”

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