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MERI Center Blog

June 11, 2020
SMS Meeting Poems

Hope to Sin Only in the Service of Waking Up 

by Alice Walker

Hope never to believe it is your duty or right to harm another simply because you mistakenly believe they are not you.

Hope to understand suffering as the hard assignment even in school you wished to avoid. But could not.

Hope to be imperfect in all the ways that keep you growing.

Hope never to see another not even a blade of grass that is beyond your joy.

Hope not to be a snob the very day Love shows up in love’s work clothes.

Hope to see your own skin in the wood grains of your house.

Hope to talk to trees & at last tell them everything you’ve always thought.

Hope at the end to enter the Unknown knowing yourself. Forgetting yourself also. 

Hope to be consumed to disappear into your own Love.

Hope to know where you are –Paradise–if nobody else does.

Hope that every failure is an arrow pointing toward enlightenment.

Hope to sin only in the service of waking up.

June 3, 2020
SMS Meeting Poems

Today, Redwing Keyssar read Alice Walker's To Change the World Enough in the Symptom Management Service IDT Meeting.

To Change the World Enough

To change the world enough
you must cease to be afraid
of the poor.
We experience your fear as the least pardonable of
humiliations; in the past
it has sent us scurrying off
daunted and ashamed
into the shadows.
Now,
the world ending
the only one all of us have known
we seek the same
fresh light
you do:
the same high place
and ample table.
The poor always believe
there is room enough
for all of us;
the very rich never seem to have heard
of this.
In us there is wisdom of how to share
loaves and fishes
however few;
we do this everyday.
Learn from us,
we ask you.
We enter now
the dreaded location
of Earth's reckoning;
no longer far
off
or hidden in books
that claim to disclose
revelations;
it is here.
We must walk together without fear.
There is no path without us

June 3, 2020
Personal Reflections

Since June 1, I’ve been trying to write about the uprisings/protests/riots happening right now in a clear and thoughtful way.  With anger and sadness, between meetings and work, the words jumbled together in a near stream of consciousness, fragmented and all over the place.   Reading and rereading my written thoughts, I struggle to find the balance between professionalism and honesty, between honesty and unintended (?) consequences.  And yet, it feels profoundly important to write something for this blog during this time.

I am an Asian American woman, daughter of Asian American activists. My father was a part of the Third World Strike at UC Berkeley in 1968/9, when Black, Latinx, and Asian American students came together to demand Ethnic Studies.  My mother, a bit older than my father, marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. My paternal grandparents were incarcerated during WWII at Topaz, Utah.  My paternal grandfather fought in WWII with the 44nd Regimental Battalion made up of Japanese American men.  I am also the wife of a Caucasian man and the mother of two incredible Hapa children. I am a Person of Color.  These uprisings have affected me deeply. 

Monday was a struggle, trying to find the words to adequately describe my feelings while going from meeting to meeting, where the uprisings became the main topic of discussion. I ping ponged between anger and intense grief.  I cried about 3, maybe 4 times.  Cried at the injustice, cried for the strides we haven’t made, cried in anger, cried in sadness.  There was also frustration as colleagues reminded our workgroups to make talking about racism a normal part of our conversations.  Such privilege to have to be reminded to make this a normal...

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June 3, 2020

We wanted to share this video from the Theater of War:  

The song, "I'm Covered" was written by Phil Woodmore for Theater of War's production of "Antigone in Ferguson", which was conceivd after Michael Brown's death in 2014.  "I'm Covered" is a hopeful hymn sung at the end of the production, and is collective response to the the violence, outrage, and violence that precedes it.

June 1, 2020

 

Blackie's Pasture
by Redwing Keyssar, RN, Poet Author
May 9, 2020

placid water
mt Tam rising
blustery wind
 catching geese
   on its tail
 as it wags
 across the powder blue background
   of the pale grey clouds
While yarrow shine
 their golden yellow
 under the chins
  of lavendar blossoms

while shocking pink-purple
   iceplant lay low
 bearing witness

The glare
 of preciousness
   of the moment
 is blinding.

Where I walk is holy

I am walking
 in a pandemic
 making history
 that someone else’s children
   and their children
  will hear about
  and wonder...
   what was it like
   in the U.S.
      B.C?
 Before Covid

Where I sing is holy

In the shower
 walking by water
 waking from dreamland
sitting
or dancing
  alone
with eyes half-closed
feeling the warmth
 of the sun without wind
   streaming through my
  dirty city window
   filling me with
  light
   filtered
    by glass

Where I pray is holy

Alone
 in water
   on mountains
under Moonlight
and Sunlight
  in Ceremony
in circles
 of Healing

Where I work is holy

In the realm
 of the invisible
  using words
  and color,...

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