Thursday, July 13, 2006

bell hooks and Foundational Love

Dear bell,

Thanks again for your presentations at the Writing for Reconciliation Conference. We all wish that we had seen more you. I am hoping that you are feeling better and that your year of engaging with difficult things goes well. I certainly understand the challenges, for my mom and dad are 84 and. . .

So, I am reading the article from the Shambala Sun. This after having read enough of your work to feel like I have begun to taste what you are saying. I have focused on two quotes that you have used. They were helpful to me. Almost “aha!” On page 60, you quote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., saying “Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace. . . If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.” Later you quote Thich Nhat Hanh who, “thought it was quite plain that if you have to choose between Buddhism and peace, then you must choose peace.”

These quote crystallize for me the themes you are communicating in your books on love.
Love as foundational to political action. Love as foundational to relationship whether in our households or on our globe. You don’t have to do much convincing with me to get me to embrace the concept superficially. But if I accept it down deep in myself, what changes does it demand, socially, politically, even in my family. And it is hard. Here is why I think it is hard. For me, part of the definition of love includes relationship. You don’t love someone and then walk away and remain distant and inaccessible. So if love becomes foundational, all escape routes are blocked.

Is love the cornerstone on which we could actually build a society capable of existing peacefully and productively in the world? Is this a practical, a doable, an achievable thing? It sounds like a dream. How could you build, for instance, a political party founded on love? How do you deal with an attack similar to that of 9/11/01 based on love? I have thought about these things and the answers I come up with are a little filmy.

But I want it to be true, bell, I really do.

Betsy DeGeorge


maria inez said...

I began reading yet another of our dear bell hooks' texts..."Sister's of the Yam". Her words continue to uplift and encorage me. I choose not to be overwhelmed by all there is to do in this we are challenged to transform it. Instead, I renew my committment to meet obstacles with a heart dedicated to wrapping the truth in love, and faithfully speaking it.

I am always, peace and joy even as strive to share the same.
I am glad you are in the struggle with me.

brd said...

The day I arrived at the Writing for Rec conference, you walked down the hotel stairs and immediately you reached out to me and offered to guide me to the meeting. That act of kindness spoke very loudly to me.

Maria you are an incredibly special person. Your perspective is one that I treasure. Thank you for sharing it with me and encouraging me in that life (and struggle) in pursuit of the transformations possible through love, peace, joy, and truth.


Rich said...

Betsy -

I apologize for the delay in writing to you. There is no excuse. Thank you for all your hard work on the WFR blog. Know that I reference it often. Thanks also for keeping in touch at Pilgrim Path and for your warm memories and kind words. You truly live bell's words and bless the world with your presence.