Saturday, October 3, 2009
Living on the Edge: An Evening with Starhawk
Under an almost full moon I spent last evening listening to Starhawk with an intimate group of about 50 or 60 people. I can't imagine that any of you are not familiar with Starhawk but if not there is ample information about her on the web. Here are some links that can educate. Her blog: Dirt Worship, her website: starhawk.org, and Reclaiming's website, the tradition that she co-founded many years ago.
Starhawk's work is abundant and she is definitely a BNP (big name pagan). She is a role model for me. I was honoured to be in the same room with her and her talk did not disappoint me. She is humble, articulate, funny and very well educated. As Pat Hogan said in her introduction Starhawk walks her talk. She is a person who lives out loud but somehow remains grounded. I admire her writing but I admire her way of life as well. I think she represents a life choice that one part of me thought I might be someday. An activist in the outward sense, going to protests, being a public voice of change, working to connect different groups, standing up for change. I do feel that I'm doing that but the scale is very different. And I have chosen a path on which my feet need to tread at this time. I can not live the life that some one else lives. I must find my activism and work it from my path. But enough about that.
The topic for the evening was Frontline Spirituality. And what was meant by that was that the front line is where politics and spirituality meet. She made some great points one of which was that we should not always get warm fuzzies from our spiritual practice. What is spirituality for? Healing, a safe space, yes. But Starhawk believes that real spirituality is about making us feel uncomfortable sometimes and making us face our edges as humans and as a community. You grow by moving into the scary places, pushing the edges and moving through them. She spoke of the species that live on the edge of systems. Creatures that live where the water meets the rocks, where the forest meets the meadow. These are the most diverse creatures. This struck me as well.
I think that I've always thought that I live between things rather than in the thick of them. I have never subscribed to an exclusive group. I prefer to live on the edges where I can move between worlds. It just feels more real to me, it feels like I'm trying to honour the little parts that make up the whole rather than denying some that may not seem to fit with the others. Starhawk described living at the edges as being adaptable and creative. Creativity being our most valuable unlimited resource. She believes that through our creativity we will be able to change this world and deal with the challenges we face today like Climate Change. One key she feels will help us creatively is to have a daily communion with nature. Listening to what the earth is saying to us. Letting the mother open a dialogue and guide us toward the work needing to be done.
What a great experience this was. Not to mention that when I got home Dave had managed to get Kyan to sleep for the first time alone. It's a whole new world out there for me now.