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Simple Gestures: Part Two

Here is a continuation of the previous post on the Planned Parenthood action:

As a Pagan, I have a deep sense that the sacred flows through all and that includes creation and destruction. I also sense that in this flow, spirit can move on if necessary. I had an abortion once, many years ago, when a condom broke with someone who was in no way a partner to me, and I was ill equipped to care for a child, as it was struggle enough to pay my own rent. I spoke to the spirit and asked it to please be released to do its work through some other means. The decision was not easy, and I vowed to never go through that again, but I was certainly grateful for the option, both for myself and the spirit that would have taken root in me.

Let me say this, clearly: An adult woman’s life is more valuable to me than the life of a fetus. A fetus is potential. An adult is action. Both are part of the sacred flow, yes, but if a choice must be made, I know where I stand. I eat things in order to live, are these things not a part of sacred flow? They are. Every time I breathe, I’m harming and killing microbes of all sorts. Are they not part of sacred flow? They are. These things are sacred, and still, I choose to live, and hope to contribute something to this cosmosphere that is worthy of all the little lives I take each day. I would not be living this life if I had a 20 year old whom I had raised. For some, parenting is a powerful, gracious act that feeds their lives. For me, this was not to be so.

In the 1980s, I did ‘clinic defense’ when Operation Rescue was out in full force at clinics. I helped make cordons through which women and men could walk to have access to services. I also shouted at the shouters. Yesterday, it felt good to sit in silence and hold the clinic in my field of awareness. I even blessed the protesters across the street, because they had provided the impetus for my being there at all.

One man who joined us yesterday was there because he had friends who had died from botched, illegal abortions. Even with limited and dangerous options, those women still needed to choose. May we honor life by honoring our ability to personally make strong and difficult choices, in order to best support the unfolding of life’s path. May the sacred move through us, informing our decisions. May we act with an impulse toward life in all its varied glory. May we make choices, like adults, with full consciousness of our acts and the risk of their consequences. May we live fully, honorably, and contribute our very best to give back to the fabric of all.

The choice I made many years ago is one that was wrenching, and I stand by it. The best I can do, every day, is to let my life be a legacy: to that spirit I sent on its way when it was the barest fingerling of matter on this plane; to the spirits of all the food I eat; to all the microscopic beings I make use of; to the fossil fuel I expend each time I travel to teach…. The list goes on. Some things are born and some things die. My life is part of that. I do harm. I also do my level best to do good.

As a Pagan, I honor life and I honor death. To give full honor is to take personal responsibility for my part in these cycles. Sometimes one thing must give way for another to rise. This is not without struggle, and most often, the struggle is within.

So if you ask me, I will say, “It’s complicated, so yes, I am pro-choice.” And to be pro-choice means to be pro-responsibility, pro-contemplation, and pro-action. It means sometimes we hold death, to better serve this life.

Life is complicated, yes, yet the answer is still simple: we try to live according to our ideals.

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