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community building

The difficulties of becoming radical

personal comments and questions from an emerging activist.
Opening up to the realty of this world, under this system, and all of the horror to be seen there, is stressful. It is lonely, frightening, and for me, shatters everything I set up for myself. Every value, understanding of social constructs, and my understanding of myself requires scrutiny. I feel hopeful because along with accepting this darker reality is the opportunity for a supportive community to rely on in the fight. I have been conditioned that reliance is bad, weak, and to be sure there is a fine line between inter-dependence and co-dependence. So far every member of this community (meaning those with the common goal of social justice) has been more open and vibrant, more honest and caring, more kindred to me than almost anyone i have ever met. But coming to terms with a new lifestyle constructed around service and the fight against imperialism and all that seeps from it has created for me a kind of crisis. A crisis of removing myself from the constant low level crisis of selfishness and ignorance, of being reborn and truly trusting other human beings. There are new rules, new boundaries and expectations that are hard to understand (it is truly sad that exchanges based on reality and respect should be so baffling), and the sense of isolation remains. How does one reconcile the acceptance of honest support, the exchange of trust that is required to do the work of change with the leftover ideals of independence, self reliance, and stoic acceptance of given social norms? There is a line there, it seems, but i can't see it yet. Has anyone else experienced this type of confusion? Where can I find the resources to continue to re-create my life in a more responsible way?

This poem has great meaning for me, as I must admit to myself that only by breaking down can I rise up with the strength and clarity I need to help others.
It is written by the women of The Weather Underground, copied from their book "Sing a Battle Song"

For A Troubled Sister

Make your need known
need is human
pain is woman

You are precious
to me
to the circle
to the people.
Becoming resigned to
a life without need
without silence or rest
is incorrect. A bad example
A short-sighted way.

Is this a cycle?
If so where is the door?
How do we break it,
shatter on to some new plane?

The others of us must hear your voice
and add ours
plan strategy to defeat this
thing sapping you
and others, too.

Our value is no puritan one of joyless labor,
but of hard work and fine life
from each according to her ability
to each according to her need

Our cures are homely things
sweet teas for late nights
borrowed chinese magic
digging fingers into the black Earth to
ease mind and tired body
We must apply them seriously and
measure our progress.

We must watch out for each other better
nurture your well-bing
the way we guard you from the enemy.

Nothing is more important to do
than to renew,
regain your beautiful strength
which moves mountains.