Like Cassandra howling at the gates of Troy, bear witness to what you know to be true. Tell the truths that have been bent by skilled advertising. Tell the truths that have been concealed by adroit regulations. Tell the truths that have been denied by fear or complacency. Go to the tar fields, go to the broken pipelines. Tell that story. Be the noisy gong and clanging cymbals, and be the love.
-Kathleen Dean Moore
Once I was waiting for things to be different. I was hopeful for a new way of being in the world. I was waiting for something to shift, for something to be reset, for something to tell me that “Yes, now it is time.” To tell me, “Be who you really are. It’s ok to truly stand up for what matters.” I was waiting and hoping for validation, for something bigger than my own mind to let me know that I can do things differently and for my culture to wake up and see the world beyond what is presented via propaganda. I was waiting for things to be different.
And now I am still waiting, in a sense. I am no longer placing my hopes on something that may or may not happen, but I wait none the less. It is not clear what I am waiting for anymore. Perhaps I’m waiting for someone to say it’s alright to take action, or for an event to take place that will make action essential, or for an option to appear that feels realistic – one that allows me to stay comfortable. Maybe I am waiting for the sign that says “go” instead of deciding for myself when the time is right to begin. Perhaps things ARE different but I haven’t allowed them to take a deep breath.
And then again, if I look deeper, I can see that every moment has been essential in my journey-even if I don’t know exactly where I am headed. Being elsewhere right now isn’t where I am supposed to be. There is validation in accepting the present and in seeing the beauty that lives in the imperfection of my current life situation. A new way of being in the world is alive when I remember that I already see with clear eyes and when I acknowledge the power in that.
Yet the quandary remains: There is still so much beauty that is being destroyed in the world, so much pain, so much aching. There is so much longing for something different and so much hope that something will shift. So while once I was waiting for things to be different, right now I am sensing the urgency of this waiting. There ceases to be time reserved for waiting just in case something happens. There is only the call to tell the truth – to step into my own power to do what I know the world needs me to do. As Gandhi once said, to be repeated by millions: I need to be the change I want to see in the world.
Once I was waiting for things to be different. Now things are different. There is a new story. So perhaps it’s time to use the beauty, the power and the life that I have to illustrate it.
Like Leonard Cohen, singing of loss and love, make clear the beauty of what we stand to lose or what we have already destroyed. Celebrate the microscopic sea-angels. Celebrate the children who live in the cold doorways and shanty camps. Celebrate the swamp at the end of the road. Leave no doubt of the magnitude of their value and the enormity of the crime, to let them pass away unnoticed. These are elegies, these are praise songs, these are love stories.
-Kathleen Dean Moore
And you? For whom do your elegies weep? Who hears your praise songs? What are your love stories?
What story are you going to tell if you stop waiting?