How is a ladder also a kite?

P,

Thank you for replying & explaining your views & for pointing me in the direction of Family Talk. When I am with a more reliable form of internet I will definitely check it out. I’m familiar with Dobson & used to listen to him on the radio as a kid when riding with my dad (usually to church), but I haven’t listened to him in many years.

I know it’s been a while but in my recollections of you, you seemed always engaged, compassionate, intellectually honest, your faith genuine, & your desire to do good for others was clear. This is why I felt I could ask the question I asked. I think you MIGHT agree that it’s been difficult to talk or listen across political lines—maybe always, but it seems more & more—lately.

For myself I have decided that to follow the example of my mother—& make listening my number one political priority—is the most Godly use of my time & I hope that I can do it well & to His glory. I’m sure I will fail at times.

I was at the march in San Antonio (largely to bear witness, but also to be supportive of my friends) & cannot speak for the marches held in DC or elsewhere except that I know some people who were at many of them, & I know how they described it & I know what those people are like & what’s important to them. I can try to address your statement & explain a little of my own hopes & of what I witnessed at the marches & what I have learned from talking with some of these other people who are the people some of them the people who march I have talked with them very closely, these others & myself & I have learned some words to say about my perspective & about the perspectives I witness— what I think the expectations of many of those who attended are/were/maybe will continue to be, & if you’re interested you can read & if you’re not, no worries & I hope you are well:

I lean on a hope, always, for common ground. There are many disagreements worth having—in good time, I hope: reasoned address of political realities (the facts of many people believing so differently from one  another & yet trying to live together—it feels like insanity, but there is much of God in this attempt to find harmony. It’s difficult to carry out in His way) but here I just want to describe something I witnessed & try to   explain generally the picture I think it paints. I will not ask you to agree with my assessment, but would not also try & prove me wrong (something I don’t expect you to do, but it is usually my own first instinct when I find my disagreement with someone over their perspectives is incredibly important to me—I give in too easily to an overwhelming knowledge that the implications residing in another person’s perspective are a direct threat (to the good) (to my family) (to my body & my faith) [& these are all so important to me. I hold them so close. They are what provide me comfort & strength… they are what teach me how to Love.] &/but, I will try to proceed with the perspective that we are all created beings in search of our maker & that in the end this is a beautiful thing & there is much suffering built into this beautiful thing & it should be my aim to alleviate as much of that suffering as I can within my lifetime for as many as possible for as long as possible & then die. There is nothing that sounds like God’s voice to me more than this thought when I hear it. It’s a trembling thought, & I am overwhelmed. & I overspeak myself. I cling to pretense. & I take pride in my trembling & I overspeak the voice that is God & I stumble & fall to anger & frustration & confusion & whatever else is lying around on the ground when I stumble there. There are so many pitfalls in the holding of collective hearts. The best we can do is our best. I know you are doing yours.

I am not a Clinton apologist & I did not vote for her, but also I was traveling all over the U.S. making books & meeting with artists & making music & trying to come to a better understanding of the country I live in—I did not have a fixed address for about a year & was not allowed to register—I have to live with this decision & whatever it says about me as a citizen). Still, I don’t expect we (you & I) would find much politically to agree on, but I want to be clear that I would never expect a person ought to vote out of a gender-based allegiance… “just because we are both women,” as you say. & I get the lack of support for Clinton by many, but to me this is a separate issue from accepting Trump’s agenda on its face or thinking about his moral character. (Angel said “lesser of two evils” & I’ll generally go along with that thought, but the lesser of two is still evil—if we’re using that language). It’s important to respect the office of the presidency. Almost as important as it is to take one’s role as citizen seriously. Faith & family come first in my mind but citizenship is important & the office of the president (as a servant of the people) & of all elected & appointed members of civil service are important for us as citizens to respect—this is what I believe.

& it’s very much in keeping with what I witnessed at the march. I’ve seen a lot of people acting afraid & so I think we are afraid, a lot of people. I think a lot of people are afraid because a lot of people are acting afraid & so I think I am probably right. I was overseas in 2008 & I remember from watching these little video clips from back home (that I remembered never really captured the way it felt to live back home—the news & so on) that while many were celebrating, many  began to live in fear of what was next.

At the march I didn’t walk with anyone acting afraid. I saw one person acting afraid. They wore a mask. They shouted angry things. They wore a mask. They shouted. They raised their fists they pointed. They wore a mask. They ran away. I think this is acting afraid even though I also think that it is an attempt to act brave in the face of fear. I think they wore a mask because it would help them to become brave & to do the thing they feel must be done. I think I’m right about this. & I think it is a fearful acting. & I think it is brave. & that these two things are not in contradiction with one another & both are true. But I did not walk with anyone acting afraid. I walked with a lot of people who were enjoying being in a place together with other folks in a place together & not feel so afraid. I heard folks expressing joy with one another & I listened to some words connecting the present with the past & descriptions of what hard work looks like & what a cheerful heart sounds like & statements agreed to consider it our duty to love & protect one another. There was, in the march I attended—since it was a local march—some discussion of local concerns relating to the broader ones. “There are companies that contract with the government here & the government is here: let us work to make the working of that government transparent  & let us work to encourage the ethical treatment of humans & let us work toward fair pay for our hotel industry, let us preserve our public parks, let us keep the refugees who live here safe. Let us take care of the least among us. And if no one opposes us, we will have cared for those who need caring. And if we are opposed, we will have cared for those who need care.” – was sort of like the thing/I paraphrase. I shall phrase eventually somewhere else.

What I saw were a lot of folks looking to do the good they see needs doing & asking one another for help & offering to help.

I’m afraid it may seem I’m covering the easy part. The temptation is to give lipservice to what it seems we can all agree on. It is given, & so we ignore it & focus on the places where we differ. Yes, yes, everyone thinks their side is right, move on. But I think it’s important to spend time acknowledging this. At all times, not only now. But also yes now. Even though the election is over, it makes no real sense to tell anyone to stop doing whatever they are doing to protect their family & their loved ones & themselves & continue working for what they believe is right. & it makes little sense that if a person perceives suffering & wishes to combat that suffering, that they should elect to make as many enemies as possible in the way they go about it. I don’t think most people are doing this, but vocal groups are doing both & it’s completely human & understandable & probably justifiable. But to refuse to talk to one another is death to a community. This seems to me unchallengeable & it doesn’t matter as much who’s responsible for the lack of listening as much as it is to remember we are all responsible to it. Spending time in agreement with these concepts is what I consider unity.

Agreement, protest, complicity, resistance. We do these things for those we love. But we also love one another. & I can love a man whom I believe intends to strike me. & I can love him after he strikes me. If I am strong enough to remember to do so I can offer him my other cheek—& if I am strong enough I will not run, but face & pay attention & try to exemplify & pursue compassionate behavior. This is what I see & witness in those I know who participated in the march. I see it all over.

Yet it is becoming more & more difficult. We trust so many voices that tell us we are different from one another. We forget how to disagree. This is dangerous, I think. It’s good that we are in conversation. I hope it is. Even if you find me full of it, you listened. That’s the main thing I want to think about here. The other stuff. Right. It’s really important. & if we can talk, we can talk about it. If not we’ll just have to keep fighting about it.

,
P

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