Fear & Freely Blooming (vol. 2, no. 5)

Here are a few things I’m sharing this month

1. Question I’m living with:

2. Quote I’m considering:

  • “We can’t restructure our society without restructuring the English language. One reflects the other. A lot of people are getting tired of the huge pool of metaphors that have to do with war and conflict [and] the proliferation of battle metaphors, such as being a warrior, righting, defeating, and so on. In response, I could say that once you become conscious of these battle metaphors, you can start “fighting” against them. That’s one option. Another is to realize that conflict is not the only human response to a situation and to begin to find other metaphors, such as resisting, outwitting, skipping, or subverting. This kind of consciousness can open the door to all sorts of new behavior.” – Ursula K. Le Guin (ht Brainpickings)

3. Poem I’m pondering:

“I Give You Back” by Joy Harjo

I release you, my beautiful and terrible
fear. I release you. You were my beloved
and hated twin, but now, I don’t know you
as myself. I release you with all the
pain I would know at the death of
my children.

You are not my blood anymore.

I give you back to the soldiers
who burned down my home, beheaded my children,
raped and sodomized my brothers and sisters.
I give you back to those who stole the
food from our plates when we were starving.

I release you, fear, because you hold
these scenes in front of me and I was born
with eyes that can never close.

I release you
I release you
I release you
I release you

I am not afraid to be angry.
I am not afraid to rejoice.
I am not afraid to be black.
I am not afraid to be white.
I am not afraid to be hungry.
I am not afraid to be full.
I am not afraid to be hated.
I am not afraid to be loved.
to be loved, to be loved, fear.

Oh, you have choked me, but I gave you the leash.
You have gutted me but I gave you the knife.
You have devoured me, but I laid myself across the fire.

I take myself back, fear.
You are not my shadow any longer.
I won’t hold you in my hands.
You can’t live in my eyes, my ears, my voice
my belly, or in my heart my heart
my heart my heart

But come here, fear
I am alive and you are so afraid
of dying.

4. Something inspiring:

  • The adjective Floriferous: bearing flowers; esp: blooming freely (I added it to my living list of adjectives)

5. New blog:

  • I turned 50 at the beginning of May and felt like sharing some of the things that I’ve learned along the way: 50 Bits of Unsolicited Advice. Here’s a sneak peak at three things that I’ve learned: (1) Seek out your Vader and ask “Where does it hurt?” Your demons are meant to be met not defeated, (2) Get some guns. Not those guns. Biceps. Give your someone something to hold onto, and (3) Keep a bit of earth under your fingernails.

If you’re reading this newsletter for the first time, you can read previous issues hereview lists of poems, questions, quotes and songs I’ve shared before here, and subscribe here.

Thanks so much. And, have a great day! – shawn