We Are Rebelles in a Rebelle Society.
I refer to us as Rebelles in my mind and in the margins of my journals (where I irrepressibly take sprawling notes on just about everything I find attention-worthy under the sun).
A geographically-distributed collective, we are, who convene and reconvene in this digital space per our own periodic rhythms and preferred writing schedules, who surprisingly enough, rarely interact. Or do we?
Do we absorb the pages of our sisters’ scrawls, and when we go to express ourselves, are we really expressing bits and pieces and parcels of the admixture that cannot easily separate out our personal lives and individual works from our necessary interrelation?
And that we are, we are a necessary interrelation, we are unusually related, tenuous yet soul-deep, an interpersonal paradox, a coven of intimate strangers, who communicate delicious secrets, fresh discoveries, provocative inquiries, and hearty encouragements straight out of the creative maladjustments of our wild, unfolding lives.
Our confessions are to souls known only through the mediated reality of keystrokes and backlit screens, we get to know one another through a pattern of words and images that embody her style, her stride, and her strivings, her ripe feminine offering she so freely gives to this global band of counter-cultural, rebelliously-spirited writers.
Each embedded in her own entwined entanglements that, in complex eddies and fast flows, simultaneously shred, mend, expand, enhance, purify, fray, and snip the weave of our psychic fabric to such degrees that we centripetally return to this gathering space offering a place and a process where we may find our responses as we recenter, pulling together the meanings that need to be made in our shared matrix to keep us all dynamically intact, whole, vital.
To keep us all beautiful.
Writing is a cleansing act, in which we let parts of ourselves die (how I hold on, how I cling!).
Writing is a creative act, in which we let the other parts, the remaining parts, get rediscovered and recharge, we sift, we sort, we reclaim abandoned materials, forging new homes out of variable pieces of what has survived from the collapse of our worlds.
We are resourceful creatures: we forage, marked by gratitude, patiently letting new forms grow, by summarizing our findings and synthesizing new solutions: writing is an alchemy of renewal so that we may keep open.
Again and again and again and again. This is our only real task. Our song to cycle on our prayer wheel. Doing our work to remain open.
For if we don’t, we might as well be ripped apart by this life process and scattered to the winds of blow-ups and bifurcations, dissolutions and dead ends.
But no, we rebel, because we have a fighting spirit and in the belly of our third chakra an eternal flame burns. We make it through by connecting with our energic life force, by joining forces, we make it through by writing ourselves alive.
So, Rebelles, we sit in the reduced bandwidth of our frustrated and disheartened spirit because it is what has happened and we must begin where we are at, and from there, and only there, patiently and in right paces, rebuild. We wade into the restrictions of our once bountiful options and outlets, with clarity and courage. I recount one of my many losses to encapsulate loss: may you recount yours.
I miss the smell of roasting coffee and the background clang of metal as baristas steam milk behind their commercial-grade, stainless-steel espresso machines in neutral-colored aprons covered in idiosyncratic pins in a café where I pull up a chair and arrange a three-hour makeshift workstation at a barstool. The café life.
There I existed in a rich social world where we all transacted through real, live energetic exchanges, where, as information was transferred, insights were first formulated and co-work was inspired, the place where real life happens.
Before we all get involved again, let your hearts bleed for just a bit. Before we grab the silver lining or leverage the current circumstance. Grieving is an act of honoring the value of what you had rather than forsaking it or refusing to feel its energetic imprint that nevertheless still lives inside of you.
Wade in, but don’t wallow!
I say the sequence shall be personal crisis, global crisis, transformational fire. So many are in this same boat, interrelated we are in the cross-hairs of fate, in the cauldron of our Rebelle Society. Personal crisis, global crisis, transformational fire.
Write of yours, and write to us about how we risk burning in the quiet trust that destruction is the dark underbelly of the coin called liberation. We need you to speak.
For that’s what we do. Will always do. We write ourselves alive.
We come and we go, offering our uncanny variety of blood-stained truths, etchings and whisperings collected and carried in the deepest heart and womb of our shared femininity. We rise in prominence and in production, writing with regular frequency or sporadically or slipping into oblivion.
Others replace us as we fade out and appear somewhere else in the digital landscape or go incognito, but still we write (for let’s face it, writers can never stop writing).
We figure some things out word by word, piece by piece, page by page, yet the most significant matters remain somewhat opaque in their dense mystery just as the dense iron-nickel sphere making up the core of the still point of the turning world.
Our content steadily accumulates, our collective wisdom organizes beyond each one of our individual entries: what does it pool and circle, what does our corpus reveal and resonate, a body composed out of intricate layers of words building a feminine understanding of our 10,000 things under the sun*.
We shall discern all that we can discern in the brevity and the uncertain, brief interlude of our Earth time, and we shall pass along all that we’ve won. But let us not hold back today our partial truths and piecemeal comprehension: we need each other now more than ever to clear up our misunderstandings and to make medicine.
We Rebelles operate through a dialectic, that is, through the back-and-forth of positing positions and counter-positions, inching and aching and painstakingly groping after the syntheses that will create foundations for the generations who will come after us, who will see into things a little deeper and tread into farther reaches, into our own terra incognita.
Ah, how to dialogue intelligently and faithfully in service of our overarching goal in a Society of Rebelles!
In September 2016, Ted Wrigley on Quora comments about 10,000 things: “As others have pointed out, the term ‘ten thousand’ is used in much the same way as the Greek word ‘myriad’: a hand-waving gesture meaning too many things to count. In modern English we would use ‘gajillion’ in the same sense.
However, in the specifics of daoist philosophy, ‘the ten thousand things’ refers to everything that we pick out as an object and name (give an identity, or label, or designation to). So for instance, if you drive down a suburban street you will see that almost every house has a lawn. ‘Lawn’ is a word referring to a singular object that we all recognize easily. But one of the points of the dao-de is the oddly arbitrary nature of words.
How do we know where one ‘lawn’ begins and another ‘lawn’ ends? Why don’t we forget about lawns and talk about individual blades of grass (millions of objects in front of houses, not one object per house)? How do we distinguish a ‘lawn’ from a ‘field,’ since both are basically large grassy areas?
The ten thousand things are not precisely a feature of the world; they are a feature of our perception of the world, and that carries us down into deep philosophy.”
Sarah McKelvey is a free spirit who enjoys introspecting, speculating, and writing about life, love, synchronistic experiences, identity, psyche, self-cultivation, and her various misadventures. She typically writes in the context of traveling, and is informed by Eastern wisdom traditions, depth psychology, and the iconoclastic teachings of Alan Watts. Words are her favorite medium. In her pursuits, she pursues truth, beauty, and goodness, and hopes to, through her endeavors and writing, promote a life-affirming attitude that belongs on the spectrum of love. She lives along the Front Range outside of Denver, and practices psychotherapy professionally.