Metaphorical Mountain Climbing

It was only when I finally accepted the reality of my situation within the dominant paradigm that things started to really shift and rearrange themselves in my internal landscape. It occurred once I gave voice to the understanding that I would never be fully acceptable regardless of whether I followed every rule laid out before me or I ignored them, whether I shut up or spoke up, whether I was naughty or nice, whether I loved or hated. Sure, the language and particular brand of oppression and punishment varied, but the established and reinforced image of “unacceptability of everything associated with Robyn because she must make amends for the terrible misfortune of not being born white” was overwhelmingly persistent.

This is not an idea I picked up via fanciful and naive notions combined with a misunderstanding about society, rather it’s a perspective that was deliberately drummed (or beaten) into me by various people and circumstances throughout my life, such as the White Australia policy intended. The actuality of my being in this society, in this time, in this body, with this mind and animated by this spirit is considered to be some kind of offense to creation, or likened as such, by many a supreme white god during a brief moment of you’ve-got-a-chip-on-your-shoulder righteous indignation and hold-the-liniment-while-I-deliver a tongue-lashing clarity. And I’m talking about the non-racist supreme white gods, don’t get them confused with those other types(!).

but when we are silent
we are still afraid

So it is better to speak
remembering
we were never meant to survive
—Audrey Lorde, A litany for survival

I’m not going to gloss this…it hurt. To fully accept the level of oppression you have been living under when you are not literally running for your life every day, will likely plunge a person into some kind of temporary depression or anger, grief, whatever. It hurt like I didn’t think I would survive it, and to be honest I am not so sure I did. Eventually, it did stop hurting so acutely, as anyone who’s been through anything can tell you. Once the shock and devastation subsided, after the tears and rage exhausted themselves, beyond all that pain and self-pity and many miles past the “why can’t it be different?” phase – I began to understand simple things.

If everything I do is already tainted because it is done by me, it follows that I am free to be and do as I please. Let that taint be my insignia.

It surprises me that there is no more worrying about avoiding potential consequences and no more wasting my energy on frivolous attempts to be understood, welcomed or appreciated. There are no more external masters to please as they have already proven that they cannot be pleased by the likes of me. My days are no longer populated with “Yessirs” unless I totally accept that behaviour in the moment as my choice and my honour. More importantly, I am now in a position to set my own standards and to judge, to draw boundaries and define borders, to erase and replace them at will, but never to be judged. No, I absolutely do not confer upon my oppressors the right to judge me.

It is inevitable in a divide and conquer approach to discrimination, that I would have no peers, so who would be left to judge me in any meaningful way? Of course, I am not oblivious, all manner of people will have a crack at passing judgement on their fellow humans, but these judgements are well below the standard and level of humanity to which I aspire, thus rendering them entirely irrelevant within the context of my life. Similarly, my judgements are irrelevant to rural families, sporting heroes and every single one of the political candidates in the recent election, to point out a few. We are each operating in entirely different reality frameworks.

The mental image I hold for this set of experiences is akin to climbing a mountain through all kinds of weather, until the moment you break through the cloud barrier into pure sunlight and clear air. At this point, we become invisible to those who remain at the base of the mountain.

I posit that there is no greater gift for freedom than to be considered utterly inconsequential and therefore to be consistently overlooked.

I ask you in all sincerity, is there a greater advantage to the cause for freedom than spectacularly failing to inspire people to want to use me or enslave me to serve their own agendas?

My measures and markers for success are no longer dependent on the persistence of white supremacy as a social norm, and in this manner the race war within has ended and the human journey has begun.

*

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12 thoughts on “Metaphorical Mountain Climbing

  1. sojourner says:

    “I ask you in all sincerity, is there a greater advantage to the cause for freedom than spectacularly failing to inspire people to want to use me or enslave me to serve their own agendas?”

    No, there is no greater advantage than this. And this is true for all the rest of us as well (for differing reasons, of course), if we would only awaken to the truth.

    There is no greater blessing than to become free from those who have created and sustained this hell on earth.

    Absolutely brilliant, Robyn!

    Liked by 3 people

    • jamborobyn says:

      Yes! Thank you, I am so delighted that this was meaningful to you.

      The rest of us… you make me laugh, I consider you one of us. We the disenfranchised, who no longer sleep-walk through our days.

      There is no more efficient route to futility and and a sense of powerlessness than to try and coax someone out of their ignorance when it serves them so well. Tell me of one disenfranchised individual who would benefit from ever more experiences of powerlessness…?

      So I wrote this part of my journey down for all those people who are ready to drop that particular burden and fly free.

      Liked by 3 people

      • sojourner says:

        “The rest of us… you make me laugh, I consider you one of us. We the disenfranchised, who no longer sleep-walk through our days.’

        I am one with all of you. I meant that I, and many others, have not experienced this disenfranchisement because of the color of our skin. I didn’t make myself clear.

        Robyn, I hope people read this, contemplate it, and then react in such a way as to set them truly free! Because when the vast majority of us are free, in the way you have so eloquently described here, then this system will die a natural death, it will collapse on itself, since there will not be enough people left to keep it alive!

        Liked by 2 people

      • jamborobyn says:

        It actually arose out of a long conversation I had with a young man earlier in the day. He had asked a question in a forum late last year when I first met him that hadn’t been answered. So he’d already spent a lot of time finding solutions that didn’t work. It was like a light went on in his head after I related to him an experience from earlier in the week and he was glad that I later wrote this because he described the experience as liberating. The story I related was that a friend was giving me the “you’ve got a chip on your shoulder speech” which after the day I’d had, I couldn’t take lying down. So I messed with his head by agreeing that he had every right to think the way he does. Explaining that it was my task to understand his experience instead of expecting him to understand mine. After all it is impossible for him to ever have such experiences as I do and it would be way too much work for him to try and imagine or empathise with me, but my spirit dictates that if I can find a way to ease his pain, I should try, so it was totally my responsibility to understand his perspective. Needless to say his rant ended and he had no idea where to go from there. He has been very nice to me since then.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Hear! Hear! This does indeed, resonate with me.

    Thank you Robyn!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jamborobyn says:

      Oh Shelby, thank you! It is so wonderful to hear from you. You came into my mind when I was reading that Audrey Lorde poem. Although I don’t really know you personally, there is a similar energy to her directness that you also embody. It is very liberating.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bless your beautiful heart Robyn. I am always glad to see something from you. Your devoted fans, like me, can never get enough of your writings. I have always admired you and your writings and I always will.

        Stay safe in this wacky, crazy world, we ‘humans’ have tortured!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Bravo, Robyn, beautifully expressed! Love this so much. Peace and Love to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jamborobyn says:

      Thank you so much Barbara. It is surprising to me that this was in any way relevant to anyone but me, so I really appreciate the feedback. I’m pretty sure I wrote it expecting that no-one would read it (except for one person I wrote it for) and I really didn’t care if anyone else did. So I am pretty delighted to read your words. How have you been?

      Like

  4. I loved the image of the black panther you posted on FB recently. I felt something was in the making and I am stunned and in wonderment about the place of freedom you discovered. I can see you flying high like an eagle, above the clouds, circling the mountain top. Yearning to reach that freedom place myself, especially after the most recent events in the US…

    Liked by 1 person

    • jamborobyn says:

      I couldn’t really say what was afoot at the time of that post, except the image was a perfect representation of what was awakening inside me. I remember the first black panther I posted was at rest. She’s been such a great teacher/companion – the power of the shadow! In retrospect I wonder whether, instead of black panther coming to me, I went to it. Anyway, yearning has also been an indispensable guide when I take the time to sit with it. Here’s a little something from Rumi…

      “HEARKEN to the reed-flute, how it complains,
      Lamenting its banishment from its home:
      “Ever since they tore me from my osier bed,
      My plaintive notes have moved men and women to tears.
      I burst my breast, striving to give vent to sighs,
      And to express the pangs of my yearning for my home.”

      Liked by 2 people

  5. G_z says:

    This is so deep 👏🏼

    Like

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