Too Much to Say



There is too much to say this week, so I retreat further toward silence. Too much to say about the awakening of a generation of young white people, and the brutal attempts to corral them back into lines and boxes. Too much to say about the young black and brown people who have been brutalized for generations. Too much to say about injustice and my preoccupation with it, despite – and in the midst of – the joy in my life, the joy of this place, the joy in the world.

Silence holds me.

I’m supposed to be attending the American Academy of Religions conference this weekend. Today, there is another rally in Oakland, and a vigil tonight in San Francisco. These are my choices: on the streets with these bright people or sitting in a conference center, listening to scholars? I suppose, as always, there is a third road: curling more deeply into this silence and doing neither.

Likely, I will attend the AAR, listen to my scholar friends, discuss ideas, represent Solar Cross Temple at the Covenant of the Goddess gathering tonight,  have a glass of wine and be sociable… all the while knowing a large part of me would rather be holding a candle against the dark, listening to Dr. Cornel West speak about justice in the cold night air.

Perhaps – standing in a hotel ballroom, discussing some fine intellectual point – I’ll light a candle in my silence, and let it burn.


What will you do today?


10 Responses to “Too Much to Say”

  1. LizSeekingLiz

    Silence calls, and there is always too much to say; this strikes a chord for me, too. Today I have struggled with emotions, taken time for meditation and worked through some of that struggle, and will go out into the world (to far too many events) to connect with contacts in my field; my partner; my friends; and to work on forging a household and a way of being that feels cleanly authentic for all of us living it. Your work with the Occupy movement and its presence as part of your already quite full life inspires me. Thank you.

  2. Elizabeth

    “Too much to say about injustice and my preoccupation with it, despite – and in the midst of – the joy in my life, the joy of this place, the joy in the world.” I know this place in my own way. In the past it has paralyzed me or I have given up and sank deeply into depression. Today I will stand in between the two. Acknowledging both are true, yet neither is all of me. Today that seems possible to hold them both. I am grateful for that, for today.

  3. Masery

    Oshun calls me to inner work today and I must quiet my mind and walk that path in full awareness, listening to her, instead of thinking about how I will write it.

    Also, I read “Officers of Avalon Responds to Police Violence in Occupy Movement” and I want to share my comment and idea. “Peter, perhaps you could host a discussion panel with Officers of Avalon and Pagan activists who have been to the camps such as T. Thorn Coyle and Star hawk. It would be an opportunity for the community to learn more about what it’s like to be a Police Officer (what is and isn’t under their control) and to learn about the views of activists. There are a lot of topics that could be covered such as how activists and police can communicate more effectively, how to address members of the force or protesters who become aggressive.”

    This could be coordinated in a Google+ hangout and recorded much like the Pagan media Q&A with Gary Johnson. You call to take a breath and the prayer you offer before each discussion I’ve heard on your podcast is very centering and helps me clear my mind. I’m have started the practice of taking a breath and contemplating before responding to people. It will take time before it becomes more of an natural process.

    • Thorn

      Blessings to all of you. May we all continue to remember who we are, where we are.

      Moon, I do try have a long view, *and* the events of this last week have felt particularly pointed. Plus, I really wanted to hear Dr. West! :-) Thanks for your words.

      Masery, that is a great idea. Would you be willing to help organize something like this?

      Janet, that is yet another thing I’m missing this weekend. I will post the prayer today as usual, however.

  4. Amy Hale

    There are so many ways to do the Work. Being among scholars as an activist Pagan who serves and who has been on the streets and camps of Occupy is a great way to demonstrate Work in action to people who perhaps need to see that. Occupy needs to be everywhere, even at a reception at AAR.

    Missing Dr. West, that is a different issue :)

  5. Helix

    i always have a mild existential crisis at AAR, beginning with the thought, “does any of this significantly alleviate human suffering?” and usually at some point containing the thought “i should have gone into parish ministry.” i always enjoy the conference a great deal, but for some reason — maybe related to what you’re saying here — it always triggers a re-evaluation of my choices.


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