Thursday, October 4, 2018

The Dismantling – Lessons from the Storm

Photo by cocoparisienne on pixabay

Weighted down by rain water, the popup canopy in our backyard collapsed. The metal frame bent in a couple of places rendering it unusable.

I and so many women lately have cried tears of rage and pain, the water flooding the system, weighing down the flimsy canopy of patriarchy, rendering it finally unusable. Some will continue to play beneath this ancient construct, but it will be obvious it no longer serves. It has been obvious to many for a long time, but now there is no one who can really say it’s working. Even those in power that it seems to serve will have to wake up to the fact that they are crouching beneath a bent and twisted construct that has bent and twisted their soul.

The framework of our backyard canopy lies on the grass until we have the time to remove enough screws to dismantle the mess, making it small enough to remove. We can’t fold it due to the small bends in various parts of the structure. I can’t even see the problem in some cases, but it’s there. I can’t make it collapse on itself.

It seems the patriarchy should just totally collapse at this point. We’ve used force and we’ve used love and we just can’t collapse this structure completely. It’s just an imaginary construct. But so many still believe in it. Our beliefs and our thoughts become things. I don’t think I believe in it, but I still have aspects of it deeply ingrained in my psyche.

If we all could simply let it go and free ourselves of the pain, I think it would collapse. But it’s not that simple to release thousands of years of pain. From our first breath, we are conditioned to think and behave in ways that keep the structure standing. There is no forcing it. It seems like we should be able to, but we can’t see all the ways it is twisted and bent. It is too much with us.

So the work is to take the tools we have and begin to dismantle it piece by piece. It will take time. It will be uncomfortable. But eventually, it will come apart. And when it does, we’ll finally understand what it was, an imaginal construct that we could always change and did change at times. But it’s time for new ways of seeing and doing life.

As we dismantle the old ways, it’s important to do it with love and not hate. What we hate, we slowly become. It’s important to not blame anyone including ourselves. We have lived within the structure of patriarchy our whole lives. We are conditioned to accept it as real and true. I believe it is the salt water of our tears that can help dissolve these old structures. Our greatest tool is to feel the pain and speak our truth.

As the old dissolves with our tears, we absorb it in a new way. It’s no longer buried in our psyches. We see it clearly and embrace it in order to fully transform ourselves. From here, we can make something new. If we don’t carefully dismantle the patriarchy with eyes wide open, allowing it to dissolve within, the new will perpetuate what is not seen and embraced.

I look at the canopy frame in the backyard. It’s going to take some work to break it down. If I approach it with anger and annoyance, the process will feel long and I may not even get to it. The empty frame may sit for months. I don’t want the yard to be marred by its presence. I don’t want the future to stand before me as something to not look forward to.

We can sit under the collapsed canopy of patriarchy or we can get up and start taking it down. It doesn’t have to be an ugly task, though some may make it feel that way. We can bring our heart and soul to each person we must confront. We can speak our truth in peace to each institution. We don’t have to do it alone, and that will make all the difference. The future rests in this moment. Find just one screw and begin untightening its hold.

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