12.1.18

INHERITANCE

 
 
Traverse City, Michigan 2017

Traverse City, Michigan 2017

 
 

After spending the last year absorbing knowledge and healing in various ways, I have to admit that words are the best medicine.

Lately, my thoughts have been marinating on the word inheritance.

It is a meaningful exchange from past to future. Individually, it is the passing down of generational wealth, or perhaps the lack of financial inheritance that can give a person measurable advantages in life. Consider the personal investments in your future. What narrative did you receive about people who looked like you?

To be the benefactor of inheritance means to receive an advantage.

Institutionally, it is the distribution of oppression through social forces that further promote stereotypes and harm the non-dominant group. The othering begins very early. Our’s is a society that came divided with the intention of exploiting people. We have held on to the idea that certain groups are better than others. This is our history.

To be the successor of ideas means to continue to embody those principles.

What kind of future will the next generation inherit? A culture of abundance that embraces instead of excludes? I’m hopeful. Let’s evolve out of old patterns and into a new way of being.

  • M

 
 
 

10.1.18

LEARNING/UNLEARNING

 
Paris, June 2018

Paris, June 2018

There are many layers within the human experience, this year of Nourish has forced me to examine mine. It has push me out of my comfort zone and into contact with new ways of thinking. I’ve come to embrace and hold that multiple realities can exist at the same time. One can be fearful and brave within a single breath. It is sometimes necessary to be comfortable and uncomfortable in the same moment, in fact that is where growth begins.

It has been a process of learning and unlearning.  

It is easy to fall into the learned patterns of polarization, described as either/or thinking. Our society primarily exists in categorical dichotomies that reinforce this cognitive behavior. A person is either a progressive or a Trump supporter, black or white, racist or not racist. In this way of thinking, we are constantly required to make a choice: Is this person good or bad? Accepted or isolated? Dominant or non-dominant group?

This is where the othering begins and harm takes place.

Come with me into the light of both/and thinking where both and all of the above applies. There is room for good people with racist ideas (but let’s work on that). Reactions to challenging dialogue can be positive for some and painful for others. In this mindset, one must learn to hold that both realities can be true. An individual’s intentions can be pure, and the impact of their behavior devastating. But remember, just because it wasn’t perfect, doesn’t mean it was a failure.

It has been a process of learning and unlearning.  

In place of dividing binaries, a spectrum of experiences now exists. People are many things and it is going to get messy. This process has to become a practice, and it takes repetition.

- M

 
 

4.28.18

BEGINNINGS 

 
Grady Ayers  California, 1956

Grady Ayers

California, 1956

Q: who would you like to invite to dinner?

A: My Grandpa, Grady Ayers

I've eaten a lot of meals with this man. More of the strong silent type, he would do his best to make you feel welcome. In the beginning stages of my childhood, we would go to McDonalds for breakfast. Grady loved to eat. He is still the only person I've known who put honey on his pancakes. He was my first best friend - gentle and generous with everyone. 

This is where the joy of sharing a meal comes from.

My grandpa grew up in Mississippi. With a single mother of eight children and a family that had next to nothing, he left as a teenager to join the Air Force. There are so many stories within this time frame that I would love to hear. Things that are hard to talk about. Like many black folks during the Great Migration era, he was looking for a better life. He met my grandmother, they married and lived on Air Force bases all over world with their four children before settling on a base in Omaha, Nebraska.

This is where I grew up. 

What inspires me so much about this person is his ability to change his life. His willingness to start over. New beginnings. The soul can be adaptable, it can reinvent itself. I believe this is a power we all have. We can decide to do things differently. It is a form of acknowledging and healing our own wounds, while leaving room for transformation. 

I think about my grandparents often. Sitting around the dinner table, I imagine they are here sharing a meal while I listen to their stories. At this table, we seek deeper knowledge of self - personal histories - along with the stories of people within our community. 

Every perspective we hear changes us a little.

Every day is a new opportunity to change your life.

- M