Gathering #2 Summary

As we move forward and discover what these gatherings "do," we will offer up a summary of each of them as they take place. Gathering #2 was powerful. Thanks to Amina Dickerson for hosting us at her gorgeous Studio 6A.

Of anecdotes and stories, new greetings and meetings, fellowship and nourishment. Of small acts of sharing in mutual kindness, listening, and intimate co-presence. Of eruptions of exquisite life affirming we-still-here-and-thriving laughter. Of the everyday importance of convening together.

Of our bodies as “altars,” sites of sacred space, repositories holding ancestral knowledge in everyday acts from handgames to hair braiding that can transport us into an altar-like experience of remembering and honoring those who came before.

Of teaching and learning as a cyclical energy defined by vortexes and radiant starbursts, of aggregating knowledge as an unending pattern--gathering up, letting it all out, landing in exhaustion, and starting it all up again.

Of knowing from within and having the confidence and awareness to recognize that we are knowledgeable beings.

Of learning as a reflection journey. Of learning as a creative process itself, of narrow roads as the enemy of discovery in creative learning environments.

Of grandmothers and mothers and aunts and women as foundations and transmitters of knowledge. Of being conscious and kind to yourself as you learn and grow. Of listening to knowledge that comes to us in dreams.

Of remembering that it is important to forgive ourselves as we are learning and educating others, especially as educators, remembering that failing is essential to learning.

Of being challenged on what we know as black women/women, and of enduring this, of becoming used to this, of strategizing ways to make sure we are heard, of learning ways to get around this dismissal of our very beings as knowledgeable.

Of the toll of expertise and mastery as sometimes draining you of your best magic & resource--yourself. Of stress related mystery aches & pains with energetic origins. Of the ongoing stress we don’t even see, and of highly educated women of color who often suffer at higher rates from chronic stress-related illnesses, even leading to death. Of holding this information up to the light in this moment. And of holding each other up so that we can take a breath, so that we can take comfort in each other’s company, so that we can lean on each other a little more and find our resilience in sharing similar stories.

Of closing our time together with laughter and hugs and giving thanks. Of recognizing dialogue, creativity, and sharing space as keys to making the world we’d like to live in, and of rehearsing this world right now instead of waiting for her to manifest.

Meida McNeal