Crafting Gentleness

Friday, August 11, 2006

like, dude, like woah

I suppose I prefer thinking in terms of resonances and rapport rather than bounded group identity or movements of any sort, trying to come to terms with the always-alreadiness of relationship in ways that never need leave me lonely, without needing to feel part of a club. There are always people out there transforming their lives and others' lives in wonderful ways, with attitudes that resonate in ways that I aspire to hang with. I keep them in mind. I assume that I make a difference, and I find it a helpful assumption, but I find it hard to maintain that assumption unless I also maintain that I am part of the play of influences that happens in a happening kind of way, like, dude, like woah.

'Movements' may happen (as major confluence-resonances of attitude and energy), but they are more likely to be helpful, I think, if people don't identify them as movements along the way! ;) (note the frequency of how people across the world speak about 'The Movement' in relation to activisms of various sorts - there are some interesting critiques of the prejudices and exclusions of 'Feminist Movement' discourses around which help here. Check out Caroline Ramazanoglu' s 1989 book the name of which I can't remember.) Too many temptations otherwise for personal journeys to become twisted into prescriptive bricks for the walls of religious, ecological, or spiritual imperialism (among many other sorts). I find that by just not allowing revolution or evolution narratives, for example, to have importance in my life, the gravity of the black hole of violence, coercion, domination, and oppression lessens just a little in my life, opening up space for more transformative and intuitive helpfulnesses in the company of wonder and the wonder of good company. Other may find them helpful, fair enough, but I just don't. I just don't ascribe to (r)evolution as a helpful way of making sense of my experience (I have my reasons, but they would take a while). I think it's a lot more interesting, a lot more challenging than that, and I'm curious to investigate how :)

But I also think I can fall into the trap of hypervigilance, when I take unhelpful thinking as some sort of contamination that I need to root out. Gotta keep in mind: attitude, not goal. Dominances, not all or nothing (I work with the idea that it's about what kind of thinking/doing dominate and therefore have greatest influence on attitude/disposition). If I can lessen the pull of unhelpful gravities in my life, if I can attend to the character of my attitude, of how I tend to be in the world ...? Who knows. Horses for courses. Sometimes it may well be appropriate to hang with thinking that might be otherwise unhelpful, if it means sharing company with people that you love, or leaving space for you to be less harsh with yourself.

If the words and ideas become more important than the character of the relationship where I am at, where I happen to be, then what am I playing at? Loving respect works better that interesting words or ideas any day, I would hope, and I would hope that some words and ideas can get me closer to loving respect.

Importance. Do I invest unhelpful thinking with an unhelpful degree of importance, 'positively' or 'negatively'?

In passing, I find there's little place for absolutes among friends, little place for nit-picky thinking among friends, little place for righteousness among friends, and even less place for these among intimate companions. I wish I'd worked that out a long time ago.

Trying to be a loving human being can be hard sometimes. No blame, no shame, no guilt, milk spilt. Start where you are.


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