My sisterfriends are shining here on the blog, and I’m feeling compelled to step things up. Thus, I’ve made a list of topics I’d like to cover in today’s blog: Process-Relational Theology/Thealogy, the main point behind the Bible from where I stand now, Water Conservation Month, and lastly, the need for a Wailing Wall.
Before I begin, I’d like you to know that Thursday has been a particularly favorite day of mine for a while. I feel Thursday, unlike other days, is more connected to autumn. I think of Thursday, and in the same moment, I think of autumn, and I like this even though I now identify as a Summertime Person in general.
Okay, first of all, I’m studying Process-Relational Theology/Thealogy for the first time in my life; well, actually, I’m studying it for the first time with this title. I’ve been considering the importance of relationships and dialogue for a goodly amount of my life being an English Literature and Writing fan. I’ve come to the conclusion recently that it’s the relational and conversational experiences that are vital in life. I’m working on being an authentic self, which means speaking MY language instead of complying with another’s and/or denying mine. Then, when the other person speaks their authentic language, we miraculously come to a third language all our own! That’s relationship as I see it! If I only speak his/her language, I’m objectifying myself! If I attempt to control the other person’s language, I’m objectifying him/her, and objectification is my new word for “sin.” Anyways, it’s really nice to have a title or the umbrella of Process-Relational Theology/Thealogy to put this conversation of language under. I’m glad it belongs somewhere.
Second, I’ve been having conversations about the Bible and Torah a lot lately. I first took a class in the Herstory of Judaic Tradition. The question was asked, “How can a person against oppression and privilege (in questions of sex and gender, that is, a feminist/womanist) even acknowledge the Torah or Bible?” With so much HIStory about power and conquering and rape and war and obvious privileging of the chosen and the men, why do I even bother continuing to dialogue about the Bible? WHY?!!! Aren’t I just validating an oppressive system? I’ve thought for a while that it could be like I’m keeping my enemies close, but recent conversations have inspired me to remember/rethink what I take away from my childhood Sunday school classes, that it might be a story of how unconditional love continues to resurrect itself (like the nature) after being murdered again and again in 5000 years of oppression and privilege! I’m still at odds with the whole Jesus man thing. Even though I like this Sophia Jesus language, it’s not enough.
This brings me to my third point (I’ll come back to Water Conservation Month): We need a wailing wall at the farm and in life. We need a place to throw and release and cry and ….WAIL …because we are the survivors of white/men/rational/exclusive/wealthy/educated/western and, yes, Christian privilege. I understand that this year of intentionality at the farm is going to give us a closer look at inequality and abuse as we advocate for the earth and all people. We need a place to feel anger and sadness and let them go because keeping that anger and sadness hurts us the most. By holding them in, we become, as Laura Riding writes, part of the oppressive muddle from which we are seeking freedom.
This leads me to my last point -- Water Conservation Month at the farm. This month, we are dedicated to only using one bowl and one cup for, at least, this week (in addition to cooking ware). Yesterday, we also sang one of Thich Nhat Hanh’s songs – Yes, I do think Buddhism too is very male/masculine biased – which speaks to the freedom I am cultivating inside and out:
Breathing in, Breathing out. I’m water reflecting what is real, what is true. And, I feel there is space deep inside of me. I am free.
We are a young intentional community of five interns (sisterfriends) living and working on a 10 acre family farm on the Oxnard Plain. Though we come from far and near, our internship grew out of the campus ministry founded by the Episcopal Church at CSU Channel Islands. To learn more about our organic farm and Community Supported Agriculture program, please visit www.jointhefarm.com.