The bold lines are quotes from the Occupy Boston Reflection Journals and were read by the person I was coleading the service with.
These opening words have, as Rev. Kit Wang says, been “floating around in the liturgical ether” for awhile. I do not know their origins but use them with respect and admiration to the wise soul or souls who penned them.
May You be blessed with discomfort at easy answers,
half-truths, and superficial relationships,
so that you may live deep within your heart.
May You be blessed with anger at injustice, oppression,
and exploitation, so that you may work for justice,
freedom and peace.
May You be blessed with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain,
rejection, starvation and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort and to turn pain into joy.
May You be blessed with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you may do what others claim cannot be done. Amen.
You are standing on holy ground.
This is holy ground.
In the beginning there was a 30 pound Buddha statue and a blue tarp.
And empty space.
Buddha was joined by Bibles, and blankets, and electric candles and a picture of Jesus behind barbed wire and a hand lettered sign pointed toward Mecca. And in the center of it all were two brown paper journals. Two brown paper journals where people dated and timed their thoughts on all that is and was OccupyBoston.
Where two or more are gathered, we find the holy among them. In the beginning we gathered.
We are the fingers of the hands, finally working together. I have so much love for this family. This tribe. I am another yourself.
We all share this need – this mission – to be the heart of the occupation
In the beginning was community.
With community came all that comes with community.
There is such an energy here – of dissatisfaction, of urgency, of hope, of connectedness, and of action. Bless this all!
I am tremendously impressed by the ability of humanity to connect itself when given the opportunity. Too often we pixelize our existence.
All that comes with community: joy and sorrow and struggle and laughter and structures and organization…and religion.
With religion came holy ground.
This holy ground.
The one that started as Buddha, sitting on a tarp, under a second tarp, with a few bibles.
Night after night the sun set on our sacred space, on Buddha next to Jesus with those candles now with a little pumpkin and some crystals all at the center, coexisting and being used or ignored as was necessary. And those two brown paper journals always placed reverently at the front of it all, as if acknowledging the words of the people as sacred. Because our words are sacred.
I can’t wait for everyone to agree. We have waited our whole lives for this global awakening.
These journals are a narrative.
At first we had no walls, and the warm late summer wind came through carrying the sounds of vibrancy and change and excitement. We were building a new way and we LIKED it. And the early entries filled with hope for change and love for community and thanksgiving for the outpouring of kindness and food and gratitude. Dozens of lines fill those first pages.
Democracy is not only a political movement, it is also a spiritual one. We, the people, the demos, move to hate power. We move, not necessarily, as one, but many and the exercise of coming together in collective determination awakens in our spirit; faith, tolerance, and determination.
Later they are filled with grief and pain from the day after the arrests, anger at police brutality, and prayers for peacefulness in the light of a new day.
How can we see the police as human when all they seek to do is dehumanize us, hurt us, hurt our movement that is fighting for THEM, too? My heart hurts. I pray for those in jail.
May all beings be happy, peaceful, liberated.
Then we reach confusion, wondering what our movement is about and prayers for everyone to be able to sustain our movement. There’s a prayer for Scott Olsen, one for the people of Oakland in general, and a mention of how we must must MUST keep our actions nonviolent, for the sake and honor of those before us, be they Ghandi or King.
It’s good to be comfortable, it’s great to be happy, but it’s essential to be good.
The day the snow came, early and unexpected and painfully cold, numb fingers kept writing through the shock to our systems. Reality hit: we were spending the winter in tents. In Boston.
It’s cold. Last night was terrible. How can I stay positive during this? I’m tired. I’m cold. I am going to church this morning. It’s been a long time.
And sprinkled throughout are inspirational quotes, happy thoughts, and reminders of who we are and what we stand for.
These journals carry the hard, real truths of new communities. These are the sacred words of the faithful.
May everyone fighting for justice know the path of love. If we fight power with anger and hatred NO positive gain will be realized.