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The path is not always clear

I woke up this morning, after conversations with friends and colleagues yesterday, and the words “exile” and “refuge” bouncing around in my head.

All of us in this small band of friends/colleagues, have been drawn into the world of people who are considered to have an intellectual disability, a term that is the latest marker of distinction in a long line of labels and labeling. Each of us has a different story of how we ended up in relationship with this distinguished group of people, coming to know their stories, sensing their struggles and desires, and recognizing the gifts and contributions available to offer that have been honed over time by the resilience of their spirits.

Contemplating my own relationship with this distinguished group of people is what launched the words,“exile” and “refuge” in my head (and the confounding relationship between them). It leaves me with a disturbing, unsettled, feeling. My life’s circumstances are such that I have privileges and opportunities that make it possible for me to choose whether I lean into the disturbance, or shift my direction and path away.

In the simplest of terms, yesterday's coming together of a small group of friends and colleagues, is born in a shared sense that something is “just not right”, and not “just”. We are each making individual decisions to lean into the disturbance of “just not right”, aspiring to forge a path toward justice, together.

We come bringing curiosity, to discover something we can do through exploring together, a path that will appear by walking it, entering into a process of sensing “what is” that may lead to the co-creation of something new, and more just. A lofty pursuit, but one worth venturing.

This morning’s meditation time reminded me of the choices made that shape life’s journey. None among our small group, have any preconceived notion about what coming together in this way might lead to, or the cost and benefit of investing our time in this collective exploration. We all simply said yes to an invitation and opportunity, based upon trust in the people who made the invitation.

Stepping into the unknowing is the nature of leaning into justice, choosing a direction to wander. Wandering may seem aimless, but to me it just feels honest, and brings the humility that comes with unknowing.

This morning’s meditation offered the words of Antonio Machado:

Wanderer Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more; wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking. By walking one makes the road, and upon glancing behind one sees the path that never will be trod again. Wanderer, there is no road– Only wakes upon the sea.

Each of us makes choices and decisions that “make the road”. Every once in a while there is the serendipity of companions willing to wander along side us for a time.

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Reading your post from this morning gave me so much to think about - thank you for this. The idea of leaning into versus walking away from a challenge that seems so clearly to need “righting” is so relevant in our current times, whether we are talking about people who are marginalized in our world or our current political climate. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if those who have the privilege and opportunity seized these moments to wander in a direction that seems to lean into creating justice. On another note, reading about the group of colleagues with whom you discuss sharing time and discussion brings me back to the late 1980s when my life‘s purpose was to be…

David Hasbury
David Hasbury
Feb 16, 2021
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Thanks Kim. One of the most fascinating things in this past year that the Black Lives Matters movement has made so clear is the durability of power and harming, and how we are still facing the similar, if not the same, questions and dynamics. This dynamic and content related to people with disabilities has been with me for my whole life. Sobering is a good word. It is also why wandering feels like a good word.

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