Tag Archives: Eyes On Whiteness

It’s Okay To Be Quiet, AND Keep “Doing the Work” Every Day Of Our Lives

27 Jan

Happy 2023!

I know I’ve been quiet here on the blog–very quiet in 2022. I only wrote two pieces, far fewer than the past ten years I’ve been writing entries on Wendy Jane’s Soul Shake.

Reflection

And there is a reason, well, there are many reasons why, and initially I wasn’t aware of all of them. At first, my conscious thoughts were things like, what else can I say that I haven’t already said, and, who needs to keep hearing from this white woman. There were thoughts I had about needing to overhaul the blog, tech-wise. The outdated, clunky theme doesn’t always work properly. There were thoughts about changing up the content. I figured if I was tired of hearing just myself talk about whiteness, I should bring in other voices. A friend, who is Black, suggested I be in conversation with other white people on the blog, to hear from others on how they experience their whiteness, and where they see themselves in the work of transforming white supremacy culture and systems of oppression into a future that is free, and equitable for all of us.

There was also the realization of how prevalent it was for me, and many white folks, especially in the last two years, to post on social media about our outrage about racism, about the fact that Black Lives Matter, and how we all urgently wanted to fight for what is right. And then there was the real feedback from some Black people, and Indigenous people, and people of color, who showed us how much of this is performative. It showed us how we post about our outrage, put a sign in our front yards, and still go about our day-to-day lives upholding our white privilege and power, and not changing a thing in terms of shifting that power in all areas of our lives–where we live, where our kids get to go to school, who gets what job, whose doctor believes their patients know their bodies, who gets sicker and dies during the pandemic, who dies more giving birth, who feels they belong in workplace culture, whose ideas matter, who gets to build wealth, and on and on.

Some of these reasons, I know, were ways for me to make excuses, deflect, and find ways to feel comfortable in my own discomfort around being a white woman who wants to be part of the collective “doing the work” of transmuting white supremacy culture. Transmuting, or changing in form, nature or substance, is a term that Diedra Barber and Maureen Benson, co-hosts of the podcast, Eyes on Whiteness, and co-directors of Transmuting White Supremacy Culture and Patriarchy use, to teach how through the cultivation of intersectional leadership, “a foundational (and daily) practice of introspection, self-awareness, intersectional inquiry, transparency, vulnerability, and invoking collectivism,” we can intentionally shift the culture from white supremacy and patriarchy, toward a collective way of being that reduces harm to all, and builds a just future that goes far beyond “diversity and inclusion” efforts.

My discomfort, I know, shows up in a number of ways. It can be the anxiety that still comes with speaking up about racism within a group, whether at my work at the hospital when a co-worker says something racist, or shows ignorance toward culturally responsive care, or, within my friends group. I know in my heart and my brain, that it is far more important to me to speak up and address racism, than to worry about the conflict that may arise, or the way other white people are going to see me. The majority of the time, I do say what I believe needs to be said. The anxiety is still there when I say it, and so is the good old tinge of white supremacy culture worry that the words coming out of my mouth won’t sound smooth and perfect. The other discomfort is worrying about whether I should step back. For example, I worry if I’m writing or talking about matters of race that should be said by Black people, and not me. And, like all “good, white people, ” I worry about slipping up and causing harm to Black people. Again, I know this is all part of the process, By the virtue of living as a white person, I am going to cause harm. I am going to say and do things that cause harm to Black people, and I have to acknowledge that, take responsibility for my actions, apologize, correct course, and move forward. I know I have messed up this year, and caused harm to Black people in this past year, either in word or deed, or in omission of word or deed.

On Being Quiet

The other reason, which I wasn’t initially aware of during this past year, is that it’s okay to be quiet–as long as I/we, are still being a part of the work to shift culture. I may not share my outrage as much on social media, or post all the events I’ve taken part in–all the things I’m doing behind the scenes, even though in a minute here, I am going to be letting you know what I’ve been up to! It’s okay to sit in reflection, allow your self-awareness to grow, to absorb life, and know “next-steps” will come to you, and you will still be a part of the work. The ‘being quiet’ part reminds me of a phone conversation I had last spring with community activist, youth leader, non-profit director, Pilar McCloud.

I was yet another white person reaching out to Pilar, a Black woman, to talk about racial justice–in this case, to inquire how the local Jewish Temple whose Racial Justice Committee I was involved with, could better connect with people in the Black community in Providence. I’ve known Pilar for a number of years now, since I moved to Providence, and admire her greatly for her passionate commitment to serving the Black community in Providence, and beyond. Pilar fights for what’s right in public education, housing, employment, public safety, and tells it like it is to us white folks who sure need, not only to hear it, but to do something about it. And yet, for so many Black women, we white folks will admire them, and talk about how strong, how brilliant, how resilient, how tireless they are, but not see them as human beings who deserve rest, who shouldn’t have to carry the burden of doing all this work, and who should be paid for their labor, whether being asked to speak at an event, or being invited “to connect” and share their knowledge of racism and the impact of white supremacy on the Black community, and then, still be asked to tell us what we can do to “help.”

In our phone conversation, Pilar, talked about how fighting for justice is not just showing up at the State House for a rally, holding up signs, and posting on social media. I remember her sharing, and I’m paraphrasing here, that it’s not just speaking up when a big event happens, like the George Floyd murder. Fighting for justice is the tireless, day-to-day, being in the community, being in community, and seeing what needs to be done to make things safe, make things better, make things fair and equitable, for Black and brown people who don’t have the same privilege and power as white people do, and then, doing it.

Pilar’s words resonated with me that day. It is my hope they resonate with other white people, too. To hear them means to keep working every day of our lives, on changing the power and privilege dynamics that keeps white people at the top of everything. It is not an event. For me, it is a way of showing up and moving through all the spaces I am in, striving to be in “right relationship”, as activist, and author, Sonya Renee Taylor says, with all of the people I interact with. That I retain my awareness of the lens I look through as a white, Jewish, middle-aged woman, middle-class, who grew up in the Northeast. That I stay aware of the way white supremacy culture permeates majority white spaces, and bring attention to that, and act in a way to be a part of shifting away from that, to a culture that is truly–though I hedge to use this word because of its ties to DEI work that often fails at it–inclusive, and just.

How Quiet Can Lead To Intuiting What You Need

Being quiet this year was good for me, necessary. I took more time to do internal reflection on how the traits of whiteness and internalized racism show up in me. In the spring/summer, I took part in a twelve-week, online Embodied Social Justice Program, led by the non-profit organization, Transformative Change, with lead co-facilitators, Rev. angel Kyodo williams, and Dr. Sara King. I learned so much, too much to try and concisely share here. I learned more about the critical element of somatic, body conditioning as integral to individual and collective change work. I experienced what it meant to be in community, to sit in affinity group break-out rooms and have to talk with other white folks about what comes up for us in being a part of the work. I had to also, at times, sit in my own discomfort at being the white gaze witnessing the pain and discomfort of members of our cohort, who were Black, Asian, Latinx, Indigenous, queer, trans, disabled, as they shared their life experiences with racism, white supremacy culture, and white people’s behaviors, and a few times, the harm caused during the program.

I continued to be a part of activist, author, blogger, Shay Stewart-Bouley’s, Beloved Community, a group of about fifteen, primarily white women, and several white men, who meet monthly over a course of five months, to share about what we are up to in the work of anti-racism, and to hold one another accountable in the work. Here is another space where I am learning what it means to be in community with others. I have always been shy, quiet, and someone who liked working on things, whether artistically, or at work, on my own. I now realize that, even though we are born with some of these innate qualities of introversion or shyness, it is also true that white supremacy culture created the myth of individual meritocracy, and living according to the desires of the individual. We live by the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality, when Black and brown people in this country weren’t given the boots or the straps. We give praise for individual achievement and advancement as if a person gains things all on their own. Yet, it is the creation of laws, policies and systems which afforded white people in this country the opportunities to advance, while slavery, Jim Crow laws, redlining, voter restriction, and an unjust criminal justice system, placed obstacles and stole those opportunities for Black people in this country to advance. Living my life focusing on myself, and not being a part of community building, has limited my ability to truly be a part of racial justice work, and be a part of making an impact.

I learn from Shay, and my fellow Beloved Community members, as I learned from the words of Rev. angel Kyodo williams, that none of us do the work of transmuting white supremacy culture alone. We do it in community. As Rev. angel says, “…look inward first, and then when you’re ready to turn outward, grab a hand.” I’m eternally grateful, too, that Shay, paired me up with my two cohort buddies, Alyssa and Gabi. We meet to chat in between our full community meetings to support one another in the work, and it means so much to me to have their presence and care, and honesty, as we share our experiences–the good, the bad, and the ugly–and carry one another along on this journey of learning and unlearning.

As leader of our group, who creates the container for this work to happen, I think about how that is a lot for Shay, a Black woman, to take on. Yet, Shay has told us she feels strongly that the work needs to happen within the white community, and more importantly, that the work is relational. That the way we move things forward is by being in relationship with one another. This is an important learning for me. I can see much more clearly now because of Shay, that yes, us white people need to be talking with one another and looking inward to reflect upon our own internalized whiteness and racism, and, look outward, and act, to be a part of the change. We also, of course, need to build cross-racial relationships in the work of transmuting white supremacy culture and systems of oppression.

On My Taking Baby Steps To Build More Community

Speaking to being in community with other white people, a close friend of mine, Anisa, sent along a group email to me and six other white women in our friends’ circle. The email contained a 21-day Racial Equity Challenge sent out by the local United Way. She said she was taking part in it, and passed it along to see if any of us wanted to join in. We thanked her, and at the end of the challenge, one of the women emailed the group to share some of her reflections, and said she was interested to hear what others in the group thought and felt. I thanked her for reaching out with that prompt, and upped the ante I suppose, by asking if all of us would be interested in meeting to get deeper into anti-racism conversations together. I was glad to hear the “yes” from everyone in the group, and we have been meeting monthly since last April.

I knew one of my reasons for wanting us to come together was to keep anti-racism work going. I noticed that conversations on racism were waning among white people. It’s just as Pilar noted above. The quiet came after the media coverage on anti-Black racism diminished. Corporate DEI efforts continue to dwindle just two years after the murder of George Floyd. I am grateful that my friends are showing up, in all of our imperfectness, to recognize and reflect on the power and privilege we hold, to learn and grow, cause less harm, and be a part of the necessary collective change our country sorely needs.

And even within our group, I realize the question of identity, how we see ourselves and one another, and the desire to not erase the complexity of our identities, is present for me. When writing this piece, I reached out to Anisa and asked her how she likes to identify herself as I know her father is Iraqi, and her mother, a white American. Anisa told me, “I’m constantly wrestling with this…I’ve even listened to some podcasts on this topic that actually sometimes give me the aha moment….I feel I both deny my Arab culture and want to acknowledge this part of my background, yet not speaking Arabic and growing up in the states, not in Iraq, with all the advantage and privilege of being white-it feels if I use the term Arab American that I am appropriating a life I have not lived, especially the political unrest. And then since Arab is not on a census, or as a box for race – I am left with white.” She finished with saying that she’s not sure how to identify, and this causes her discomfort. I truly appreciated Anisa sharing with me in her email reply, and a face-to-face, fuller conversation shortly afterward. I gained some insight and education, and the reminder of how complex and layered identity is, and I got to learn more about how my friend feels–something I never took the time to ask her about before now.

Some of the books I’ve read this year include, Dear White Women, Please Come Home, by Kimberlee Yolanda Williams. Shay asked our Beloved Community group to read the book, a collection of scenarios all experienced by the author, a Black woman, and written as individual letters to her long, lost (fictional) white woman friend, who she hopes will “come home. ” The metaphorical coming home is what Kimberlee, the author, keeps holding onto hope for, that white women will rise to the occasion and finally become “sisters” with Black women, instead of rendering them invisible, and causing harm, as Kimberlee so vividly shares in her book. I am currently reading, also at the request of Shay, for the next section of our Beloved Community convening, White Women: Everything You Already Know About Your Own Racism, And How To Do Better by Regina Jackson and Saira Rao. Once I finish reading this book, which I’m glad will be discussed with Shay and the rest of our community, I will be reading Myisha T. Hill‘s new book, Heal Your Way Forward, The Co-Conspirator’s Guide To An Anti-Racist Future. I follow healer, author, speaker, coach, Myisha on Instagram at the suggestion of my Beloved Community buddy, Gabi. I have appreciated Myisha’s “Instagram Lives” with Joquina (Kina) Reed, a Black woman, who is a justice, equity, diversity and inclusion specialist, community advocate, podcaster, and digital content creator.

Just this month, I took part in anti-racism educator, Ashani Mfuko‘s 5-Day Anti-Racism Conversation Confidence Challenge. I realize that even though I’ve been on this journey for a while, it is a life-long process to keep learning and unlearning my own internalized racism, my relationship with white supremacy culture, and get better at having the conversations that need to be had when doing the work. I gained much from taking part in the challenge, especially leaning into Ashani’s guidance in the areas of having curious, open conversations with people who are covertly racist, instead of shaming and blaming.

In my community, as a writer, and artist, I work to support Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and non-Black artists of color, through the arts coordination I facilitate at the hospital I work at. I attend art events–gallery exhibits, poetry readings, plays–led by, and featuring Black artists, and other artists of color. I also work to stay conscious, every day, on how I show up and move through all the spaces I find myself in.

I share all that I’ve been up to, not to say, look at what I’ve done, I’m a “good, white person.” I share it to show some of the ways us white folks can be a part of the transmuting of white supremacy culture and systems of oppression–how to be part of this liberatory work. I believe, as I’m taught by so many, especially so many Black women who lead in this work, that white people, we need to liberate ourselves too. We, who have to remind ourselves that we have a race, and that we are the creators of the systems that now exist that keep white people in the position of power and privilege, and we are not free until all of us are free of these systems. And I don’t share what I’ve been up to to say, look I’ve read all the books, taken all the courses, joined all these groups, and so now I know it all, and I’m good. Absolutely not. As white people, we can learn things and know things, and a lot of us would sure like to keep it at the intellectual knowing part, but until we know it in our hearts, and in our bodies, we will not be a part of the change we need to be a part of. If we simply say we know about racism and white supremacy culture, and keep on living the way we’ve always lived, thinking that the knowing makes us “good, white people,” then we stay complicit in upholding white supremacy and its systems of oppression.

On Uplifting The Work of Black Women

And if you noticed, aside from the white peers I am doing the work with, every person that I mentioned in this post that I have learned and grown with this past year, in reading their work, or engaging with their programming, have been Black women, and women of color. We white women, all of us white folks, need to give credit to all the Black women who are leaders of anti-racism education, activism, and healing work. And to pay them for their work.

Here we are at the beginning of a new year. It is 2023. Now is the time, if you are not already engaging with anti-racism work, to be a part of the work of transmuting white supremacy culture and systems of oppression into a liberatory future where all of us can live free and thrive and belong. There are so many places, and ways to be a part of the change we need. Won’t you look inward and see yourself, and look outward, and before you move forward, like Rev. angel says, “grab a hand.”

I thank you, as always, for taking the time to read this, to reflect on it, and to reach out with any feedback, questions, or conversation you’d like to further engage with.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy, peaceful, joyful new year.

———————————————————————————-

Sources:

www.blackgirlinmaine.com

@blackgirlinmaine

www.ashanimfuko.com

@ashanimfukoofficial

www.joquinareed.com

@divestingfromwhiteness

www.myishathill.com

@myishathill

https://www.linkedin.com/in/pilar-mccloud-605ba07b/

https://pilarmccloud.wixsite.com/pilarmccloud

www.engagingacrossdifference.com

@kimberleeyolandawilliams

www.transmutingwhitesupremacyandpatriarchy.com

www.diedrabarber.com

www.maureenbenson.org

www.mindheartconsulting.com

www.revangel.com

www.transformativechange.org

What I Didn’t Want To Share, Or: If This White (Jewish) Woman Went To Confession, This Is What She’d Say

7 Nov

I actually did go to confession when I was in the fifth grade. I grew up as a Reform Jew, and wanted to know what all my Catholic classmates did in confession so I had a few of my friends take me to the grand, Immaculate Conception Church in our downtown. They prepped me on what to do and say when I got in the confession booth, and told me how to go to the altar and kneel and count to sixty instead of saying the Hail Mary. I felt certain the priest would know through the screened booth that I was Jewish. I felt guilty because I lied to him about the sins I made up about fighting with my sisters and lying to my parents, and that it was five weeks since my last confession. I felt guilty for kneeling at the altar because Jews aren’t supposed to kneel. But it made me feel like I knew something more about my friends, and what they experienced as Catholics. Left in our school’s classroom every Monday with the two other Jewish students, and the one Muslim student, while the rest of the class went to Catechism class, I had crossed a bridge into their world, and felt better off for doing so.

Speaking of guilt, I know my writing has been more sporadic as of late, but do you remember that bit of advice I gave at the end of Some Of Us White People ? Yes, the one about not letting our white people guilt, or shame, keep us focusing on ourselves, keep us stuck and inert and unable to act. You may not remember, because I wrote that piece in June–over four months ago!

Well, I didn’t listen to my own advice. I let myself get sucked into, let myself wallow in feelings of unworthiness, guilt, and wondered with self-importance if I, as a white woman, had the “right” to write about race–that maybe I could, maybe I should, just be quiet for a while.

I started a draft of this post back then, but kept putting off finishing  and publishing it because it didn’t say all that I thought I needed to say, and because I worried about sharing my vulnerability, and being called out for my own self-centering, self-absorbed “white freakin’ fragility” nonsense. As I sit to finally come back to this writing, it is November 5th, two days post-election, and we all sit waiting for all the ballots to be counted, and for the news of who will be our next President.

To be honest, this conflict about writing is something I’ve grappled with at times during the ten years I’ve been blogging about race, racism, and cross-racial connection. The sentences run through my brain…should I write about Black popular culture? about anti-Black racism?…Am I going to offend Black people with what I write? …Are white people going to think I am an extremist and make everything about race?I have no place wanting to write up the stories of the Queen of the Maroon peoples of Jamaica, Ga’ama “Mama G”, or more formally, Ga’ama Gloria Simms. Ga’ama Mama G is a great woman leader, who I was honored to meet in Jamaica, and be able to befriend through my friend, Professor Diana Fox, Chair of the Anthropology Department at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts. I tell myself, shouldn’t it be a Jamaican woman who is representative of, and knows, the Jamaican culture? And, when I hear Black people say we should center and amplify the voices of Black people, of Black woman, I of course, fully agree.

As a white woman, I am grateful for the diversity of this blog’s followers and with every one’s engagement and feedback. As a writer, I also often hear the phrase, we should know who our audience is. I have to admit, I think I am someone who has lived her life in many areas in an unintentional, but perhaps, intuitive way, and I know I definitely wasn’t fully conscious of, or strategic, about who I was writing for when I started blogging. As time has gone on, I realize it is my intention, and my hope that sharing what I’ve experienced and learned through reading the works of Black scholars and writers, and while in conversation with Black people, and other white people, and through this reflective writing,  that white readers here will absorb at least some of it, and begin to question and change the way they see matters of race and racism, and us white people’s complicity in it. It is my hope that we all, no longer being able to unsee the racist foundation upon which this country was built and maintained, that we white people will want to change our ways of moving and behaving in this world, and more strongly, will do the work to break down racism in every facet of our lives. I know that it is also my hope that I continue to engage more deeply in conversations about race with Black people, and to learn more about their lived experiences, and to be open to receiving their feedback and questions, and to grow with that, and to not become defensive, or to let my guilt take over, like the very guilt and shame that had me hedging about writing and sharing this piece in the first place.

When I do express this inner conflict about writing to friends, Black, and white, I challenge myself to listen to their feedback with an open mind and heart. I was recently reminded of something I know, but also, at times, forget. Professor Julia Jordan Zachery, Chair of the Africana Studies Department at University of North Carolina, said, “you have a race..white people forget or don’t think they have a race. You have a race, and you’re writing about race through your white lens.” Diana, who I mentioned above, and who introduced me to Ga’ama Mama G., has shared her perspective of noting the many identities we hold, acknowledging intersectionality and the power and privilege that comes with those identities, and on broadening our views to one of a global interconnectedness. While acknowledging the need for affinity spaces, she also believes in the need for people of all backgrounds to come together for bridge-building work, and to bring about change in this world.

I have also recently gotten feedback from some Black people, suggesting, especially at this point in time, that instead of my writing on matters pertaining to the Black community, that I should center the voices of Black people in the telling of their own communities. What’s probably missing for me, is more feedback and interaction from other white people, especially the feedback I don’t get from white people who don’t like, or don’t believe in what I have to say. They seem to stay silent, and I’m left to ponder their missing feedback.

In the more distant past, I know I have looked for the feedback that told me I was still a “good white person,” and wanted to avoid hearing words that challenged my people-pleasing, good white person self. I got defensive and did that white person thing, of saying to myself and to friends, that whoever questioned what I wrote, didn’t know me, or my true intentions.

After ten years of writing, I definitely still can feel wounded at times when I take in commentary about white people and whiteness. I can personalize a “not all white people” statement, and then immediately afterward know I shouldn’t. And then take it to the place of knowing, but it is all white people, and embrace it. The constructs of race does not allow us to escape our whiteness. There is a dichotomy that sits inside of me that I continue to work on. The voice that says, I feel bad about myself, and the one that says, I am here to hear everything that needs to be heard about racism, whiteness, and white supremacy and white people’s complicity in it because it’s far more important to break down white supremacist systems than it is to worry about my good white person status. The latter is stupid and useless and dangerous.

As I get mad at myself for still, after all this time, having these feelings of guilt pop up, and work to overcome them, I wonder if these feelings of guilt and shame are more recently heightened because of this moment in time, and are a necessary thing for me, and other white people to not overcome, but to work through, in the process of undoing our whiteness, and of decolonizing our racialized minds and ways of moving in the world. It has to get uncomfortable, at least I know that is true especially for someone like me, to truly get myself further along on the journey of changing myself, and growing my ability to be a part of the change of the systems of white supremacy I find myself surrounded by. I know it is far more important to be able to hear the statements of truth about where we are at, at this very moment in this country. White people have the dire need to reckon with the white supremacist notions and racial violence that this country was founded on, and has maintained over the past 400 years, and as this election reflects, shows that half the country is desperately trying to hold on to. I will never “arrive” at being done with the work of dismantling the whiteness that resides within me and the world around me. None of us will. It is a lifelong journey, and will continue to be for those that come after us. I will work on seeing this moment as necessary for me to grow, instead of one that gets me stuck.

Something that is helping me tremendously to reckon with my current white woman junkpile of whiteness, is the podcast, Eyes on Whiteness. The podcast is co-hosted by Maureen Benson, who identifies as a white woman and whose work focuses on racial justice and intersectional leadership in the areas of education and social impact organizations, and Diedre Barber, who identifies as a Black, Puerto Rican gay women, and is the founder and CEO of Filament Consulting Group, where she coaches others—youth, educators, and corporations–to bring about systemic change through the use of authenticity, compassion, transparency and high expectations.

In the words of the founders, “Eyes On Whiteness is a podcast that illuminates the insidious and ignorant ways of whiteness, regardless of intent. Our guests are invited to talk about the ways white supremacy and patriarchy are pervasive and ever-present.  Our conversations are rooted in a commitment to normalizing the “how, not if” lens for looking at the ways it’s present for all of us.”

Eyes On Whiteness and the conversations that Maureen, and Diedre, who Maureen notes in her introduction, shows up when she feels like it, as is her right as a Black woman taking care of herself and setting boundaries for her own emotional labor, are deep, and eye, and heart opening. These two women truly reflect their values of authenticity, transparency, compassion and accountability, whether it is the two of them reflecting on how they feel on this Election Day, or in conversation with their guests who have included, poet/educator, Roger Bonair-Agard, educator, facilitator and healer, Leidene King, E3: Education, Excellence & Equity founder, Dr. JuanCarlos Arauz, and the episode I listened to twice for all of its gems: the conversation with poet, activist, leader and author of The Body Is Not An Apology, Sonya Renee Taylor.

Eyes On Whiteness is making me, instead of always looking outward to analyze anti-Black racism, look inward in a way that helps bring awareness to the ways whiteness shows up in me, and how it permeates all of us, and all the spaces we move in. It is challenging me to work through this current bout of white guilt I have been letting overtake me. It is helping me to sustain my will to always show up and be present in this lifelong work of what, I believe Diedre has named, as transmuting white supremacy. They say transmuting instead of dismantling because it is their belief that we will never break down white supremacy completely, but we can transform it, and change our ways of being together and living and working together—replace the ways of white supremacy with a new, non-hierarchal, equitable way of relating to, and caring for one another—to make a new way, and a new world together.

I thank you for sharing in my confession. Maybe mine will help you share yours. Because it’s okay to not be perfect, to slip up, to be self-aware, so we can know what we need to work on on ourselves. I give thanks to Maureen and Diedre, for all they have given to me over these past few weeks. I will now go count for 60 seconds, and clear out those guilt cobwebs, and begin again, looking for the next bridge to cross.