SAVE THE DATE: From San Francisco to San Jose, Inauguration Day Protest

img_0516Dear San Francisco Bay Area Residents:

Many of us are concerned about the rhetoric, policies and appointees of the incoming administration and my church – Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo (UUSM) – is organizing a peaceful protest. We’re inviting people to line the El Camino Real (ECR) from San Francisco to San Jose with messages of love (respect), not hate, on Inauguration Day, January 20, Friday, from noon to 1 p.m. This form of PEACEFUL protest comes from the People Power tradition of the Philippines.

If you share our concerns, we invite you to look at the EVENT FLYER and to consider joining with us … but also to consider promoting it through your faith organization or other organizations and among your friends and family. In addition to sponsorship by UUSM, this event is also endorsed/sponsored by Suit Up! Action Network Mid-Peninsula/SF Bay Area, an offshot of Pantsuit Nation, and will likely be endorsed/sponsored by our local interfaith partnership.

Please mark your calendars and look for more information soon.


KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Demonstrations and Protests, American Civil Liberties Unions

“We’ve made love private, contained it in family, when its audacity is in its potential to cross tribal lines.” Krista Trippet
Leading in Difficult Times, Conversations Among the Clergy of San Mateo County, CA

WRITER’S BLOCK: doubt, fear, perfectionism, heartbreak

img_2030 For good or ill, I seem always to have something to say.  In retrospect I may find I didn’t say it well, it wasn’t worth saying, or I didn’t really know what I was talking about.  Is it a gift or a curse? I don’t know. I just know that even in despair, I never have writer’s block. Having said that, I don’t blame or judge those who do. Especially right now. The world’s gone mad.

In reaction some of my friends are writing up a storm – almost literally. Others are so overwhelmed with emotion – fear, anger, hopelessness – that they can’t work. It wouldn’t matter if their jobs weren’t creative. They just can’t work.  No romance about it. No calling it “writer’s block.”  We should call it – in this case – what it really is: heartbreak. 

Normally, I would say block comes from trying to write and edit at the same time. That doesn’t work. Or, I’d ask “Are you self-conscious? Are you afraid of being judged, of revealing yourself, of just not being good enough?”  Write about those feelings then. Write just for yourself. Dabbler or journaler, amateur or professional, one of the best ways to get to the root of a problem is to put it down on paper, to explore the feelings, fears and trepidation.

Or, I’d wonder: Is it a matter of perfectionism? That can be a steel wall.

“You know, the whole thing about perfectionism. The perfectionism is very dangerous. Because of course if your fidelity to perfectionism is too high, you never do anything. Because doing anything results in…it’s actually kind of tragic because you sacrifice how gorgeous and perfect it is in your head for what it really is. And there were a couple of years where I really struggled with that.”  David Foster Wallace

These days though, I’m feeling sad too … and insecure … and this may be one of those times when I should still my pen and hold my tongue, but I find I have to ask myself what can we do when we feel that our hearts are breaking? See a therapist? That might not be a bad idea, especially if the feeling goes on and on and we can’t pull ourselves out from under. Or, we could just sit with the sadness.

Periods of heartbreak and disappointment often turn out to be a sort of liminal time. . . a transitional stage . . . Most of us have experienced this in our creative lives: when events are overwhelming and our inner lives seem the most sterile but turn out to be silently rich in process and promise and demand of us patience as our becoming works itself out.  During such periods, when our inner lives are dark, maybe we need to simply live in the darkness, not try to avoid it or suppress it.

For creative people – for everyone perhaps – these times can be valuable; in the sense of our becoming, a gestational period, a personal advent waiting for the birth of a truer self. Difficult as these times are, as creatives, as citizens, perhaps they are simply times to pause until the pieces come together and our intuitive sight clears. Don’t be surprised if you wake up one day to find your creative spirit is a phoenix rising from the ashes of despair, no longer haunted and ready to take on the insanity. History, personal and shared, shows us that – however trite it sounds – out of the darkness comes light. We may have a long haul ahead of us. It might not be tomorrow or the day after, but the light will come. Hold fast. We can’t afford to believe otherwise.

© 2016, words and photograph, Jamie Dedes, all rights reserved

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