Tag Archives: circle of equals

Holding Close with Open Arms

Toni officiating Sally and my wedding
Toni officiating Sally and my wedding
It was 26 years ago yesterday that my partner Sally and I had our wedding ceremony, officiated by our friend, fellow feminist activist and mentor Toni Carabillo. Toni read the vows Sally and I had written, but added her own poem at the end, “Holding Close with Open Arms”. At the time, I saw the verse as good advice for our budding partnership. 26 years later I see that same thought more broadly as a positive path forward for our entire human civilization.

The piece’s title, at least in the most concrete physical terms, presents a contradiction. How can you hold someone close without wrapping your arms around them to secure their proximity which is bound to constrain their ability to move? Metaphorically, that contradiction is a challenge to maintain a difficult equilibrium; to have intimacy and share love and support without limiting the liberty of your partner to grow and become that unique person they can continue to become. Continue reading →

Balderdash & Circles of Equals

It is rare in our culture when any activity can capture the interest of and entertain both youth and adults, as I believe is the case in this very sophisticated game of obfuscation, divination, and the opportunity to share a laugh or two as well. The game “Balderdash”, the trademarked version of the game I first played as “Dictionary”, is just such an activity, a simple parlor game yet a very sophisticated exercise in word-smithing in the context of cultural awareness. Given that, it is still a game that a sharp pre-teen or older youth can master and go toe to toe with adults. My thirteen-year-old niece insists that we play the game at every family party, and with seven to ten of us participating, we have had a number of memorable sessions. Continue reading →