|February 28, 2020
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Just a quick note to let you all know I am alive and kicking. As much as I love communicating with you and letting you know what we're doing at the Clinton, I am taking a hiatus from writing my newsletters because I need a mental health break.
Why? Day after day after day, our government evolves into a perverted parody of itself. The world I thought I knew unravels into a pool of useless fibers at my feet. Though, perhaps, dismemberment might be a better term to describe what is happening. We--as a community, a nation, a species--are being torn apart, ripped asunder. Instead of viewing each other with compassion, empathy and kindness, injustice and cruelty are the norms of the day. As a white person with tons of privilege, I know that I, myself, am not threatened, but I no longer feel sane and safe. In fact, the needless suffering here and around the world is vast and ever growing, and I feel small and powerless.
Although I don't believe in "God," my many long years of Sunday School and Sword Drills can often bring words of comfort to mind. (Don't know what a Sword Drill is? Look it up: https://www.wholesomewords.org/family/sworddrill.pdf) Today I thought of a passage from 1 Corinthians, Chapter 12 about us all being members of one body: "The eye can never say to the hand, 'I don’t need you.' The head can’t say to the feet, 'I don’t need you.' In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary...(understanding this) makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other."
Poetry helps, too.
-- Ranier Maria Rilke
It’s possible I am pushing through solid rock
in flintlike layers, as the ore lies, alone;
I am such a long way in I see no way through,
and no space: everything is close to my face,
and everything close to my face is stone.
I don’t have much knowledge yet in grief—
so this massive darkness makes me small.
You be the master: make yourself fierce, break in:
then your great transforming will happen to me,
and my great grief cry will happen to you.
This is where I am now--pushing through solid rock, stuck and trapped without a clear way out. It is a dark and terrible place to be, yet reading this poem brings me hope. For me, "master" is not a god that I reach for in the pitch black night, it is the light created when we come together in community, intent on making this world a better place. In the midst of despair and heartache, grace persists. Together we can choose to give ourselves up to the painful work of the "great transforming," and may it continue within our own hearts and minds, and carry forward beyond the borders of our own unique selves.
Thanks for bearing with me while I heal. I soon hope to be back ranting about the ills of the world and discussing some concrete steps that we can take to make a difference.
WHAT'S HAPPENING THIS WEEK
Violet Hex & Mars Present KILLER KATE! (Vol. 11) on Friday, March 6 @ 9pm
THE AMAZING BUBBLE MAN Saturday, March 7 and Sunday, March 15 @ 11am
Portland Storytellers's Guild presents Storytellers Plumb Their North Star on Saturday, March 7 @ 7:30pm
International Women's Day Screening: SAME GOD on Sunday, March 8 @ 7:30pm
BRENDA ARTS Presents African American Horror Stories on Monday, March 9 @ 6pm
A Transportation-focused Candidate Forum hosted by The Street Trust on Tuesday, March 10 @ 5:45pm
PDX German Film Festival Monthly Series presents FRITZ LANG on Wednesday, March 11 @ 7pm
Shadows Ten Minute Play Festival runs Thursday, March 12 - Sunday, March 15 @ 7pm
HELP!! HELP!!! The Clinton Street Resistance Series is taking a break because we need to find more sponsors and gifters of raffle-prizes in order to continue. We also need a few good volunteers. If you're interested in how you can help, email email@example.com.
Mark your calendars for THIS YEAR'S EVENT on Sunday, March 1, 2020! Portland is marching! It is a permitted, family-friendly, intersectional event welcoming womxn and their allies. Rally at Noon, March at 1:00. ADA accessible. Rally location is PSU / South Park Blocks in downtown Portland. Remember, rise!
SafeOregon provides a reliable, anonymous method to report unsafe situations. Funded by the Oregon Legislature as part of a statewide effort to improve safety, SafeOregon offers a way to report concerns such as threats of violence, fights, drugs and alcohol, weapons, bullying, harassment, intimidation and self-harm. Find out MORE.
I have a new staff person focused on our social media, so look for us on instagram: cst_pdx. Every day, we'll be posting what's happening. We're also posting up a weekly calendar, if you need to plan ahead, and of course, I will still keep the website and Facebook page up to date.
If you're interested in buying a copy of my book, you can pick one up at the theater for $15. If you aren't in the Portland area, you can order one from Powell's Online Book Store, Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Not sure if you want a copy? You can read an excerpt in Hip Mama Magazine.
The keyword here is BLACKWHITE. Like so many Newspeak words, this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to BELIEVE that black is white, and more, to KNOW that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary.
— George Orwell
Don't be a stranger. Come see us soon.