Tikkun Winter 2019 (34.1) - Page 84

I hug the other customer back and thank him. He pulls away to look me in the eyes and tell me, “Take care of yourself.” We do that thing people do when we feel weak: we hold each other up, hands to shoulders, shaking slightly, affirming our sense of belonging to one another as part of Earth’s humanity, of THISstory. The cashier continues to witness, and we are able to stand, in our vulnerability, in our fear, in the love that lives underneath it, in our empathy, in the knowingness that we are accountable to each other for Reality. And we keep each other there until we are ready to move on with our respective days, our respective lives. His eyes are awash and mine are overflowing but I am ready now, to finish the transaction, to con- tinue to move beyond what had momentarily engulfed me. This is what’s beyond patriarchy. Vulnerability. Acceptance. Informed compassion. Our minds and actions applied and aligned to the will of our hearts and not the other way around. It is not a theory or an argument, it is an experi- ence. It is something to be lived, something to be shared, something to be discovered as it is happening. It is Life not being controlled or conformed to fit into the boxes our minds have been accultured to create. It is his tenderness and me taking up space in public. It is queer. It is blurring the lines in the sand, understanding they are part of a shore and it is their nature to be washed away. It is responding to what is alive in the moment and doing what you can no matter who it is for. And, fortunately for us, we do not need to wait to discover what lives beyond patriarchy: this is what is already living inside of it, waiting to be given welcome to emerge from the constraints within like the potential energy within a seed. It is discovering what comes out of what has been. It is the wisdom and the lessons learned from our intimacy with patriarchy. It is under- standing cycles and that this one is coming to 84 W W W .T I K K U N . O R G an end. Not only because of the harm that has been visited but because it is the way of things. We will mourn it. It is familiar, and it has been home for so many of us. It has been part of being human. Whatever exists after the expira- tion of patriarchy, if it is truly an evolution, it will carry the lessons that we have learned. Just as how matriarchy, although no longer coordi- nates business as usual, the men in this story still knew the value of its principles as mani- fested through their actions. The emotional instinct has not departed. Patriarchy will not disappear, it will be transformed, composted, become something to nourish and inform. It is how every seed grows. I do not share this story for it be analyzed. I share it to help you find the thread of it in your own life. Take the seed challenge: do not try to get beyond patriarchy, get into it. Not in the sense of picking up its mantle, we’ve already learned too much that way, in the way of un- derstanding it, learning its lessons so that they can be broken down to what is essential. Take what can be repurposed, and do so, build from there. Build enough energy, complexity and integrity to break out of what constrains our full potential to realize what it can mean to be human. Build a reality that values the whole- ness of the human story: the cognitive and the creative, the competition and the collabora- tion, the categorically masculine and feminine, because all of these are part of what it means to be fully alive. JIHAN MCDONALD is a facilitator, spiritual director, and writer from the Chochenyo land colonized as Oakland, CA. Their mission is planting seeds of peace through empowering people and organizations to create value-driven cultural solutions rooted in diversity, equity, inclusion and healing. WINTER 2019