Making Vows for Equinox

Shake your Mabon-bon, my friends. Autumn is my favorite season, and so it was on the Equinox fifteen years ago that many of you, my best beloveds, gathered with me with to celebrate my wedding at the Davis Farmlands Megamaze. I chose the destination for what a maze (not a labyrinth) means to me as a meditative tool:

  • Sometimes you need to get more lost to find your way.
  • The path that keeps your goal in sight is not always the most direct route.
  • Most importantly, once you find your center, if you make mistakes you can always return to your heart to start over refreshed and with better hope… but only if you are willing to divest yourself of both pride and prejudice to take stock of where you are and have been, what you are doing and have done, and whether your gut instincts can be trusted or need to be reined in.

Lethal force used on civilians in this country is at a level as high as the lynchings in the first generation after the transformation from slavery into a citizenship promise that has never been fulfilled. The beating constitutional heart at the core of this republic is laudable, and improving gradually with each generation, but we have never found our way to a truly democratic core principle made practicable. We are now at a technological point where we actively must choose to live within our delusions or travel outside of our comfort zones into admitting how tragically lost we are, and have always been.

This is the point of the maze where we as Americans sit down and accept that this is the spot where our nation will die — as we are killing, taking prisoner, spying upon, and hoarding spoils against each other at a rate reserved historically for war. Or we can stop and really see where we are, what we are doing, what is being done to whom, and decide to surrender the defeatist hopelessness of a lost traveler who swears they have done everything right, and therefore there is no recourse.

A house divided cannot stand, and we as purportedly one nation are fracturing further from each other from wounds that were never healed from our very beginnings. The systemic violence against racial minorities, indigenous peoples, and women hurts each of our souls, and is destroying lives at an even faster rate than it is ending them. We need to make the issue of social justice politics personal, gathering it into our deepest self, and then walk it back out into the chambers of every local, state, and the federal government.

On this day, with blood and fire, rage and tears abounding, we can have the audacity of hope to make these vows to each other:

We the people, in order to form a more perfect union, will honor each other’s rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, provide for the common defense and general welfare in both our actions and how we hold others accountable for theirs. We shall do so with equal care and respect for those for those in sickness and in health, richer and poorer, of lighter skinned and darker, straighter or queerer, more able-bodied and less, the faithful and the atheistic, for veteran and civilian, for those with jobs and without, for the incarcerated and free…for every human born into this country and who chooses to seek sanctuary and opportunity as one of our own.

This is where our allegiance should lie, or kneel of it so wishes, and it is the pledge we should say in our hearts and strive to fulfill as one nation, equal in light and darkness across the land, by the power and with any privilege invested in us. As with a marriage, we choose to either actively commit to each other every day or take responsibility for our portion of when things fall apart.

Let this fall, this moment of complete abandoned hope for knowing what to do, mean a new beginning: less comfortable but more honest, with hope that we can accept where our choices have led us and finally find our way out, to stand together. People are dying; we cannot afford to sit.