This weekend I went to a remarkable conference. Because I want to keep this blog anonymous, and attended under my real name without publicly revealing a nom de Internet, I wasn't planning to write about it. But I have to (and trust completely that those who know both names will keep the information private. Much as I need to tell my story, I'm not yet comfortable sharing it with all members of my community.)
I have to write about this weekend because I think it was one of those small sparks that can change the world. It was like an idea from a dream that seems both so real and so impossible that when it does comes to life you have to whack yourself on the head and say, Of course! How could I have doubted?
And, also, oy! I thought I knew the answers, and boy was I wrong. I'm extraordinarily lucky to have found my spiritual home, a marvel of inclusion, interfaith dialogue, and countercultural expressions of faith. But the nature of a sanctuary is to isolate, and I'm ashamed to notice on my own path a creeping weed or two of moral superiority and parochialism. That's not what my community has taught, but rather my own inadequate response. It's a survival mechanism in a scary world, borne out of the best of intentions. I live in a little bubble here in New York, trusting only the edges of this country and assuming that what goes on out there in the middle counts less. Southern accents make me nervous; sometimes I embrace my Christian brethren with one hand on the doorknob. And just as I accuse the Red state people of sticking their fingers in their ears and singing la, la la, I know everything and can't hear you, I'm quite capable of doing the same.