Sunday, 17 November 2013
SAWBONNA: PITTMAN MCGEHEE & US VS. THEM
On Friday evening I attended a lecture at The Calgary Jung Society, at which Episcopalian priest, Pittman McGeHee spoke about love. He shared the fact that in Sanskrit there are seventy-five words for love i.e. the love of a teacher for a student, the love of a speaker for her audience. He spoke about the four types of love which we have handed down from the Greeks: storage: affection; philia: friendship; eros: romance; and agape: unconditional love. At dinner the following evening, I found myself sharing the love that is Sawbonna's articulation with a woman sitting next to me. A love that took root in a deep sense of us both wanting to be seen, heard, witnessed, from our own very, very different experiences. Both the oppressive and oppressing notion embodying justice in an us vs. them context, surfaced. Even as she and I vehemently disagreed with what honouring voice means, I knew I was in the presence of love. I knew that the very fact that I could use my voice and she hers, we were choosing to love the fact that we had something to say. That we could listen. That we, in appearing as "us vs. them," were engaged in the love that is Sawbonna's invitation to honour voice. To embody justice in a manner that does not tell "victim" how to be, that does not tell "offender" how to be. We were participating in a covenant of consciousness, of which Pittman writes in his work, The Paradox of Love. Paradox. Process. Voice. Choice. In covenant to be more than us vs. them. Even when love might feel discordant, and bleak, it speaks. And again speaks.