On this first day of the 88th Texas legislature, it feels more important than ever that we as organizers and activists and advocates tend to the emotional challenges of working to create change in a state that is so often hostile to our efforts.
I don’t know a single Texas progressive who hasn’t been filled with dread as the start of this legislative session loomed. And now the day we have been dreading is here.
One of the things I observed in the response to my events and content leading up to the 2022 election was how neglected the emotional and even spiritual aspect of organizing for change is. We absolutely need to nourish ourselves in these ways if we want to keep at this work.
I’m going to make sustaining my spirit a big focus here in Texas in 2023, so I will be sharing a lot of what I find helpful in hopes that it will help you, too.
Thanks for listening to today’s episode. <3 I love you. I love us.
Here is the Rumi poem translated by Haleh Liza Gafori:
I saw myself sharp as a thorn.
I fled to the softness of petals.
I saw myself sour as vinegar.
I mixed myself with sugar.
An aching eye seeing through pain,
a stewing pot of poison,
I was both.
Reaching for the antidote,
I touched compassion.
I touched mercy.
I was a cup holding only dregs.
I poured in the water of life.
Raw and callow,
I followed the ones already cooked by Love’s fire.
In the dirt on Love’s path,
I found the medicine that ensouls sight.
My armor thinned to a silken scrim,
I sifted the soil that gives vision to the blind.
Love said, “Yes, you’ve arrived
but don’t think it’s your doing.
I’m wind. You’re fire.
I stoke your flames.”
New date for my Election Lessons Learned presentation and discussion! Thursday, January 19 from 6:30 - 8pm at Brew & Brew in Austin. It’s free but space is VERY limited so reserve a spot now!
The Texas Campaign Funds for Dependent Care Coalition is working to pass a bill that would make it easier for folks who have care responsibilities for children or others to run for office. (This would be huge especially for women of color and low-income caregivers.) The coalition needs volunteer leaders to head their Digital, Media, and Advocacy Day teams. You can find expectations of these roles and how to help here.
Austin EMS and firefighters are holding a “Stop the Bleed” emergency response training at The Little Gay Shop on Sunday, 1/22 from 10am to noon. It’s a sad fact that increasing anti-queer rhetoric at the Texas legislature means the community needs to be ready to protect itself. Register here.
Order Haleh Liza Gafori’s beautiful translation of Rumi’s poetry, Gold, here.
Get Michelle Obama’s The Light We Carry here.