Interdependent Web: When we can’t bear to watch

Interdependent Web: When we can’t bear to watch

A weekly roundup of blogs and other user-generated web content about Unitarian Universalism

Heather Christensen


When we can’t bear to watch

Andrew Hidas laments all that has been lost during the Trump administration.

The beacon that we have been, the power for good we have projected, the hands we have offered, the stability we have ensured through times dark and devastating, flawed though it sometimes has been as the humans we are: All of it gone to flame in the Donald Trump era. (Traversing, November 16)

Doug Muder, who faithfully distills the news each week for his readers, cannot bear to watch the impeachment hearings.

These Republicans charge that the impeachment process is a sham, but it is they who are making it a sham. By showing no interest in the facts of the case, they are sending a blunt message to the American people: “Nothing the President did matters. We have power and we’re keeping it.”

That’s what I find so hard to watch. I had thought I had prepared myself for this. I had thought I had lost all my illusions about the state of American democracy. But to see so immediately just how far one of America’s two great political parties has fallen, to bear witness to this degradation for hours at a time … it’s sad beyond my ability to process. (The Weekly Sift, November 18)

Dan Harper found a good distraction from the news: ducks. (Yet Another Unitarian Universalist, November 15)

Out of ego and into relationship

Catharine Clarenbach shifts the wording of the Witch’s Pyramid from “Keep silence” to “Let us listen.”

Let us listen to those on the margins, and then let us listen to the responses of our own hearts, and then let us talk with people we trust who may understand more than we do and who share identities with us, and then let us decide how to respond. (The Way of the River, November 15)

Kim Hampton notes that for the first time in more than a decade, she hasn’t preached or been invited to preach in a UU pulpit for almost a year.

And I’m asking myself, “Am I sad about this?”

Honestly? Not really.

It is rather freeing to be able to preach and reference people/work and not have to wonder if the audience has any idea of who the person/work being referenced is. I call this the “Souls of Black Folk” test. And the vast majority of UU congregations fail it miserably. (East of Midnight, November 14)

Sean Dennison reflects on 23 years of being out as trans.

Over the years, I’ve learned how damaging it is to try to earn love. I work hard to be a good person, to earn respect and to live with integrity. What I have learned is that while I hope people see a kind, thoughtful, honest, and loving person when they look at me, what matters most is that I have self-respect and love my own life.

And so, those who put their judgment and bitterness first do not get much of me. I don’t try to be what others want, no matter how much they want it. I don’t make room in my life for people who don’t choose to grow in love or acceptance. I don’t bend to the tyranny of their stuckness. I let them go.

I work to let them go. It’s not easy. It hurts. And it releases them and me from the pain of ongoing wounding. It is another way of choosing life, of choosing wellbeing.

It is part of being trans. It is part of being trans in a culture that deeply resents our presence, our integrity, our freedom. It is choosing life. (Facebook, November 21)

Myke Johnson has been researching her Swabian roots.

One aspect of the decolonization process is for those of us with non-native ancestry to explore our roots in other places across the globe, places in which our ancestors might hold their own Indigeneity. . . . [Before] this week, I had never even heard of Swabia. This is the forgetting that comes over so many families through several generations in the United States.

We begin to amalgamate and make reference to a vague Germanic ancestry. But the more I learn, the more I realize that each of my various family lines came from distinct cultures and landscapes that are now considered “German.” (Finding Our Way Home, November 18)

David Breeden writes that the purpose of awe is self-transcendence.

We are not locked in a zero-sum . . . where atheists can’t have mystical experiences or theists can’t realize the beauty of a completely material and observable set of physical processes.

Every human being experiences awe and wonder somewhere across the artificial boundaries of science, art, and religion. . . .

Which brings us to the “why?” of awe and wonder. Why? Self-transcendence. Getting out of the ego and into relationship with the planet and her people. (Medium, November 21)