Proposition 5, in three acts and a colophon
by Annie Muse
In which Annie comforts the prophets and foresees a Sea-change.
In the Bible, there was a famine in the land, and when Elisha comes upon a hungry band of prophets, he tells his servant to put on a big pot of soup. So this bunch of prophets goes out to find something, anything, to toss in the soup. One of these men finds some vines, they apparently look good for food, so into the pot they go.
The prophets line up, eager to eat, but when they dig in, the soup turns out to be a poisonous brew, a soup of death.
At this point, Elisha does something very weird. He doesn’t say dump out the pot. No, he tells them to get some… flour???
What can a few handfuls of flour do to stop the death in the soup?
Well, they do bring some flour, and as it says in the King James version of the Bible, “…he cast it into the pot; and he said, Pour out for the people, that they may eat. And there was no harm in the pot.” [2 Kings 4:41]
We’ve experienced over the past few months a lot of poison tossed into the pot that’s our community.
A lot of what was said and shown by certain prophets consisted of a demeaning, mean-spirited, and unkind vine of poison that until now has been incredibly toxic. But at the same time there were other prophets who brought us the lived experiences of real people, and the humanity of our community had an opportunity to be seen.
For some of us this was the first time we could speak out for ourselves and be heard, to tell our own stories, to speak the reality that we know to be true.
This is the ingredient that will heal our community.
Many beliefs that people hold seem to be “either/or”, or “black or white”, or “A or B”. This seems to be the way of beliefs. But the way of our hearts is far more a process of tiny steps, of a fine-grained ratcheting that resets us in ways we could never have imagined for understanding and appreciating our world.
Those of us on the “yes” side of our recent Proposition thought that our message would, in a single push, move at least some of the “noes” we’ve experienced in our lives to more empathetic “yeses”. And for many who heard what was said in the past few weeks, this proved to be true.
But for many others who got to hear, it was too big a step. There has been a lot of poison in the pot for many many years.
But that doesn’t mean that nothing happened in those people’s hearts.
I like to believe that change is taking place even after the phone banks go quiet and the television ads disappear and all the noise settles down. That the effects of our message will continue to do their amazing work.
Even the most microscopic bits of genuine Love and Truth have tremendous power.
And a million drops of rain become a sea-change.
We are the Change.
Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell
~ The Tempest, Act 1, Scene 2
William Shakespeare, 1610