27 June 2007

Wednesday 27 June 2007, 11:11

This new thing on the blog where people can make comments, I like it. I'm glad to have set this up. It's wonderful to see what people have to say and to hear from loved ones with such loving and interesting messages.

This flu, which I have learned is going around, has seriously kicked my ass for a week now, and I am starting to feel it lifting. Whew! Periodically I do get these high fever sweat-it-out sicknesses, and this one has been a real winner. I will be so glad when I can focus more on other things.

In that vein, it's sunny out and I think I will go to the store in a while...that'll be nice.

So much has happened since I started this blog, since I came to Europe in February even. I considered writing a post about my reactions to the news etc., as I used to do quite often, but it doesn't feel right. Somehow, I want to honor and acknowledge the changes I've experienced by doing something different.

This weekend I am fortunate to have three interesting events to be part of. The first is a meeting with a group who wants to start a ritual circle, and has asked if I would be willing to sit with them while we discuss how to do that. The second event is a day-long workshop in Concensus, and the thirds is another day-long workshop, this one Magical Activism. I was wondering if this flu was going to knock me out of attending, but the flu is winding down. Yay!

Concensus is, in my mind anyway, a much misunderstood word. To me, concensus is an organic process of transformation, much like fire. Fire isn't a thing, it's a process of transforming matter from one state into others. Concensus does the same thing with people by making space for each person in the group to be heard and seen, to be grokked really, without any foregone conclusions as to where this will lead. By making space for everyone, what eventually emerges is a recognizable organic sense of the values, directions, and actions of the group. Sounds simple, and it can be. It can also be time consuming and slow, which some personalities respond to with more patience than others. In other words, concensus process tends to bring out one's learning edges.

Magical Activism is a really fun set of exercises for a group to assist them in clarifying values and discussing value differences, envisioning viable and desireable futures, and fostering creative approaches to being a person actively engaged in creating solutions. This workshop is one of those "the more the merrier" events and I'm really glad that a bunch of folks are coming.

After the workshops I'll have a brief visit on Monday with a friend from Canada, then head off for a weeklong housesit where I can hopefully sit in the sun, be quiet, get my strength back some more, and do somemore brainstorming.

Rereading the comments from Shakti and deborah oak in the context of what I just wrote is interesting. This great discussion that we're all part of is an ongoing concensus meeting. It's happening globally. We're all participating in it all the time.

25 June 2007

Monday 25 June 2007, 18:54

I am hoping this post makes clear my appreciation to the really wonderfully generous kind people I stayed with and near in Germany who helped me during a difficult time. I don't know how I would have made it without them.

I also want to be very clear that my personal experience of physical pain, whether it's simply mechanical or psychic or both or neither, is not about my interpersonal experiences in Germany. It is not about the beauty of the countryside. When I refer to the painful part of my experiences and interpret that, I am not blaming or holding responsible anyone I met, stayed with, hung out with.

I also am clear that I did have a very intense experience which I am still processing physically, emotionally, and psychically. I would not be true to myself if I said that Germany does not and has not cast a shadow in my life. It has. That is not anyone's job, nor does it lie within anyone's ability, to heal or reconcile. I am not looking for or expecting that from anyone. That is my work to do, hopefully with support, and I experience that support from many people including, and sometimes especially, friends who are German.

I made a comment a few entries ago:

"One thing I am learning, which I can articulate at this point is that, despite my lifelong pursuit to see humanity as one, right now I see that we are made up of different groups, with real differences, some of them possibly irreconcilable. I have always rejected this view as an impediment to peace, but now I am thinking...it’s true. There are real differences. What that means for the possibility of peace, I do not know."

I know so many people who are committed to peace, and I understand that for me to make a public statement like that is uncomfortable for some folks. I am learning. I am questioning. I ask uncomfortable questions. I always have and it's gotten me into trouble more times than I can count. I, too, am committed to peace, and I have questions about how it does and does not exist, how we do/can and do not/cannot manifest it. I do not know the answers, but I see what I see and it makes me wonder, so I ask.

More than anything I want my presence in the world to be one that spreads love. Sometimes I am really good at this. Sometimes, not so good. At free camp in 2006 we worked with the 3 faces of betrayal; betraying others, being betrayed by others, betraying ourselves. We worked with the reality that we each experience all three, and despite that we need to love each other and ourselves in order for there to be peace. I continue to work with this lesson.

23 June 2007

Saturday 23 June 2007, 11:37

Yesterday I had acupuncture which has helped my low back and leg immensely. The guy took my pulses and said "herniated disk." I came back to the place where I am staying and went to bed and spent 24 hours sweating out a fever, dreaming, waking, sleeping, sweating, etc. Today I feel better. I can have a conversation, I can sit at the computer and write, I may even eat something.

My last entry drew many responses from friends. All responses conveyed concern for my well being. Some folks had a hard time with my focus on the history of Germany and wondered about the genocides elsewhere, and did I think what happened in Germany was worse than what happened, for example, in North America. One friend was saddened that I didn't write about the beautiful places she showed me in Germany, and the places where there was resistance.

I am working something through. I don't know how to say it but I will try.

I had a physiological response to going to a place. I went there with some thoughts in my mind, of course, of the history, but I had no idea, plan, or desire to have this physical breakdown. But I did. Maybe my disk herniated and I got a virus. Maybe psychically I tuned into the ancestors of the place and my own ancestors and that relationship.

When I traveled across North America through Indian lands, I thought, and felt, and wrote in my blog, about that genocide. I cried. I listened to music of the people. I went to native lands, went to a pow wow, made offerings. It was deeply moving for me. I did not experience a physical breakdown. My body just didn't respond that way.

When I saw the beautiful places in Germany, and learned more of people who had been in the resistance and what happened to them, I was moved. I was glad to see the beauty, and saddened by the pain people experienced, but it was second hand news. It didn't enter my body.

When my back went kaplooey in Otterstedt, and then after coming to Holland I got this exhaustion flu-like thing, these were in my body. I felt like a witness to these things, not like I had any choice but to ride them out.

I think that we all have feelings about the behavior of our ancestors. I have ancestors who were bloody killers, if you read the old testament. Probably most if not all of us alive on Earth now have ancestors who killed, raped, pillaged. I feel shame about how Israel treats the Palestinians. When I was in Israel I was aware that as an american jewish male I was in a privileged class. The privileged classes are usually the perpetrator classes.

My earthwalk in this life is one of learning. Right now I feel that I am in the middle of a learning piece. I don't have an overview of it yet. It isn't complete. I'm in process.

I write this blog to share with friends my news, to share my process, as a kind of therapy tool for myself. A friend who is also a writer told me "You think you know what you've written, but you don't. You've created a structure and then people plug into it with their own stuff." I really sense that strongly right now. This is so huge for me personally, it makes sense it would hold energy for the people who read this, mostly people who love me.

So I welcome comments. I welcome the opportunity for dialogue. I am learning, and I am not putting down in this blog, the wisdom of the ages. This is all part of one person's journey.

21 June 2007

Thursday 21 June 2007, 13:57

Solstice! It is grey and chilly in Holland today.

I am beginning to get some perspective on my time and experiences in Germany and how I am feeling. I am more exhausted than I can ever remember being. I feel like I have been severely beaten for days; sore, achy, tired. I am rediscovering my own aliveness.

I relate to life through my body. I am of the earth and am very identified with Earth. The energy in different places has an effect on me. The earth in Germany is soaked in the blood of centures of violence and torture, and especially the attempted genocide on my tribe, my relatives, in the last century. It’s real. I feel it. It’s not a cognitive experience, it’s an embodied experience. The kindness of my friends there is real and I treasure those friends, but it doesn’t change the reality of the history and how that works in me.

Maybe for someone with no Jewish ancestry, it would feel different. Maybe other Jews have had similar experiences...I would love to hear about them if anyone wants to share.

One thing I am learning, which I can articulate at this point is that, despite my lifelong pursuit to see humanity as one, right now I see that we are made up of different groups, with real differences, some of them possibly irreconcilable. I have always rejected this view as an impediment to peace, but now I am thinking...it’s true. There are real differences. What that means for the possibility of peace, I do not know.

I want to make Jewish food, chicken soup, kugel, who knows what else.