Hola mi gente,
I’m happy to say that yesterday’s policy meeting for the Alliance of Families for Justice went really well. It was uplifting engaging members of impacted communities come to the fore and share their insights and their passion. I think 2017 is going to be a benchmark year. Also, a group I’ve been marginally involved with working on political prisoners issues had a successful evening last night.
I was too worn out to make the latter event, so I didn’t attend. I hope that my work helped increase the attendance, however.
On a sad note, I learned that a former colleague and friend, Darryl King, passed away. Darryl was a great human being. I mean great in the sense that the man would’ve given you the back off his shirt. What always amazed me is that Darryl maintained an exceptional generosity of spirit though he spent 25 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit.
As a boss, he always encouraged me, encouraged me to use my creativity and was very supportive. As a person, we shared a similar sense of humor and we made sure we had fun while fighting oppression. We didn’t stay in touch the last several years, but he was always in my heart. RIP, my brother. You will be missed and some of the actions you started continue to reverberate. You did good.
Same thing this week: more interviews and waiting for decisions on previous interviews. I can’t control the outcome, only the work I put in. Have a great week, people
I was showing a friend a series of stories I’m writing that have as a central character, a mentor I call Don Pedro. She was curious about the character’s origins. In truth the character is partly an amalgam of teacher’s I’ve had throughout my life. She wished that she had such teachers in her life, she admitted. But the essence of the character is really found in an internal “voice” or teacher. It’s something — call it intuition or hidden knowledge — that’s inside of me that I have given life to as a fictional character.
I think this inner guidance or intuitive knowing is a reflection of having found my purpose — my path — in life. Many of us are so stuck on what we think we should do that we don’t pay enough attention to what we want to do. Finding your path or purpose is something similar to dating. Some marry their childhood sweetheart and they live happily ever after. And that’s fine, I’m not knocking it. However, for most of us, the hand-me-down spirituality we were raised in is unsatisfactory and so we go seeking. We expand sphere of connections, meet different people from different walks of life, we gain understanding and perspective, and learn about others and ourselves. Eventually, we find a path that speaks to our heart and we settle down.
And how will you know? Well, maybe it’s a little like falling in love. A path will call to you and you’ll know. Maybe you will discover that you have already been on your path, you just weren’t aware of it.
As with my friend, maybe some readers also wish they had a teacher like my Don Pedro. Someone who could guide you on the path and alleviate the travails of the journey somewhat. The fact is that you do have that teacher and that teacher is with you always, as close to you as your own heartbeat. Whether you call this teacher intuition, instinct, an inner guide, or whatever, our inner teacher recognizes that no one path or method is best for everyone. In trusting our own heart, calling, or path, even our mistakes lead us to where we belong.
Try the following: Imagine, if you can, an all-wise, all-knowing master inside of you waiting to answer your questions. Ask a question and write down the answer. Then ask a friend, a therapist — whoever you find helpful. Then place their answers next to yours and take both into account. Finally, ask yourself: who must make the ultimate decision?
I’ll leave with the following story. Nicolo Paganini, considered one the greatest violinists of all time, was about to perform before a sold-out house. As he walked onto the stage to thunderous applause, he discovered to his shock that something was terribly wrong — he had someone else’s violin in his hands. Horrified, but knowing that he had no other choice, he began to play. That day it is said that he gave the performance of his life. After the concert, Paginini was in the dressing talking to another musician. He reflected, “Today I learned the most important lesson of my career. Before today I thought the music was in the violin; today I learned the music was in me.”
My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…