This year our program was graced with a new speaker, Erricka Bridgeford, a co-organizer for the "Ceasefire" weekends in Baltimore who appeared on TEDx as a result of her efforts. She spoke about "The Power of One" to our group of young women and walked us through an exercise that would help us envision our unique and essential place as a single member in the fabric of humanity.
"Close your eyes," she instructed. We did so very obediently since Erricka is not a force to be reckoned with, but also because her entire talk throughout the morning had held our attention like nothing else. We didn't want to miss anything she had in store for us. "Imagine a huge body. It could be male, female, just picture a person larger than normal." She let us sit there in silence, fashioning our people. I imagined a genderless being, large, but not quite the size you'd imagine a giant from a fairy-tale. "Imagine all the parts at work," she said, gently focusing our minds. "Think of whatever you can: organs, limbs, hair. Think of it all working together." I pictured little people all making up this big person of mine. They were holding hands, going about their work, but careful not to let go of one another. I liked picturing humanity that way. It made me see more clearly the reality that we are one big life depending on all the parts for strength. "Now," Erricka continued, "think of yourself in there. Where are you? What are you? Are you a finger? A nose? The heart?" Again, she gave us time to think about what vital piece of the body we might represent.
I didn't know where to start as I tried to imagine what part of the body I might be. A few things came to mind, but it didn't take long until an image popped into my head and I knew right away it wasn't just me looking for an answer. I saw myself in that giant body, resting contently in the elbow. The elbow? I thought. Even though the image gave me peace, I couldn't understand why I would picture myself there. Why would I be an elbow? Getting into a thinking position, I leaned over in my chair, placed my elbows on my thighs, and that's when I understood it. The elbow. It's hidden, right there in the back of our arms, not even visible unless you bend awkwardly to get a good look at it; but it's an important place of support. It helps to hold us up when we are tired; allows our arms to stretch and bend; it even springs into action and aids us in breaking a fall. That silly little elbow has so many jobs, and yet it's not in any noticeable place.
Why not give it a try! Follow Erricka's promptings and see which part you are. Don't force it, just let the image form as you imagine all the parts of the body working together. You'll know which one you are when it comes to you. Once you feel sure, even if it seems odd, take some time to ask yourself some questions. What makes this body part represent me? What is my job in the body of humanity? What is it that I do for others because of my unique place in the body?
As always, thanks for reading! Many blessings as you do your part to hold up humanity,
Sister Desiré Anne-Marie