A friend of mine sent an urgent email yesterday afternoon (8/31/08), when she began receiving reports from dissenters in town for the Republican Convention in St. Paul / Minneapolis about police brutality and unconstitutional actions toward those planning to protest. Like breaking into houses without warrants, and arresting folk who are just watching movies. Putting 14-year-olds face down on the floor, then talking about ‘termination’.
“I’m totally freaking out about this. Do you have any suggestions on what I can do? Thanks.”
Knowing that the political situation in our country does deeply disturb her, I sat quietly for a few minutes, allowing the words to come, and then emailed her that I had:
– write out what you’re feeling, hearing and seeing on TV
– visualize peace, green light, calmness
– also visualize bright glaring TV lights on the cops at all times…. and them surrounded by journalists / bloggers”
She is a talented writer, and it felt to me that writing would be good for her – and very good for the rest of us, who could benefit from her perspective and from understanding her fear about the brutality. Visualizing itself calms us down, and sending peace, green light and calmness to Minnesota makes a lot of sense. And yet, it isn’t enough to calm ourselves, or even the situation. We need to make clear these old paradigm fear-based authoritarian moves no longer work. Shining glaring TV lights in corners those in authority want dark is just the right thing to do.
She emailed back some hours later: “Excellent ideas. Thanks!” Which I took to mean, in its brevity, that she was now writing and working out exactly why these reports were causing her such pain. Doing this work so that others, perhaps reluctant to work so hard, or confused by their feelings, could have a window into their own beliefs and emotions.