Ain’t We All Human?

No one is immune.

Morality must shine forth from within.

Living truth, living from the heart, being just and creative and kind and compassionate.

All the organized structures must fall down, eventually, rotted from the inside, shot through with guru worship, magical thinking, discrimination, spiritual materialism.

None is exempt: not yogis, not Buddhists, not Christians, not Catholics, not Muslims, not atheists, not agnostics, nobody.

The women are coming up and let’s bring all of humanity, all of Mother Earth and Father Sky with us, too.

We rise, we rise, we are rising. All together now.

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Ain’t I a Woman, 1851 Speech by Sojourner Truth

May I say a few words? I want to say a few words about this matter.

I am a woman’s rights.

I have as much muscle as any man, and can do as much work as any man.

I have plowed and reaped and husked and chopped and mowed, and can any man do more than that?

I have heard much about the sexes being equal; I can carry as much as any man, and can eat as much too, if I can get it.

I am as strong as any man that is now.

As for intellect, all I can say is, if women have a pint and man a quart— why can’t she have her little pint full?

You need not be afraid to give us our rights for fear we will take too much, for we can’t take more than our pint’ll hold.

The poor men seem to be all in confusion, and don’t know what to do.

Why children, if you have woman’s rights, give it to her and you will feel better.

You will have your own rights, and they won’t be so much trouble.

I can’t read, but I can hear.

I have heard the bible and have learned that Eve caused man to sin.

Well if woman upset the world, do give her a chance to set it right side up again.

The Lady has spoken about Jesus, how he never spurned woman from him, and she was right.

When Lazarus died, Mary and Martha came to him with faith and love and besought him to raise their brother.

And Jesus wept — and Lazarus came forth.

And how came Jesus into the world?

Through God who created him and woman who bore him.

Man, where is your part?

But the women are coming up blessed be God and a few of the men are coming up with them.

But man is in a tight place, the poor slave is on him, woman is coming on him, and he is surely between a hawk and a buzzard.

Farewell, Amigo

A friend died last Thursday.

He ended his own life. A friend I hadn’t seen in years, but a friend all the same. A teacher, a musician, a husband, a father. With a daughter close to the same age as my own: five. He was forty years old.

I received the sad news one morning last week. In a message from a mutual friend. It was the first thing that entered my mind that day, this tragic news, and at first it didn’t compute.

He took his life. He is the first friend I’ve known who has committed suicide. It doesn’t seem real, that this person who was so alive and intelligent and complicated and hilarious and all the other things he was, to be gone just like that. It almost doesn’t seem real because there is no mention of it on social media amidst any of our many mutual friends. We are respecting his family’s wishes. But it is true, damn it.

red rain flower

I wrote his wife, now widow, who is my friend too. Even though there are no words, I wrote her. I’m thinking of her and him and their daughter and sending them love and metta.

I cannot imagine what she is going through. Even though I’ve read books written by widows about the experience of living through and beyond their beloved’s death, whether sudden or prolonged, I simply cannot fathom the grief and pain.

The other night, my friend appeared in my dream. As we were embracing in a big bear hug, I broke down in sobs. But I felt comforted by him, not sad about his death. In the dream, he was not dead. I was crying about something else, and he was consoling me. Only today as I was walking to yoga did I realize, on some level, the dream level, that that was our goodbye.

Adios, dear friend. Thank you. We will miss you. May you be free.