In This Moment

by: Jason Wyman

What do you believe? Is there a God? Goddesses? A higher power? Nothing? Are there rules to live your life by that can be found in a text? Found through prayer and meditation? Are there no such things are “rules?

And how about sexuality? Is there only one: heterosexuality? Are there two: homosexuality and heterosexuality? A continuum? No such thing as sexuality?

And finally what about gender? Is there only male and female which are the same as biological sex? Or is there a continuum that doesn’t necessarily match biological sex? No such thing as gender?

These are the questions and beliefs OutLook Theater Project, a queer ensemble theater company located in the San Francisco Bay Area, is exploring. I am a part of OutLook, and this journey is amazing, moving and, at times, terrifying. These questions have forced me to look at my bias regarding faith and has taught me that we have more in common than what appears on surfaces, more in common than than the media tells us, more than we can even imagine. We all have a desire to be heard, seen and valued. We all want a space to call our own, and we all have a path.

Outlook calls this exploration “the GOD project”. [1] This project includes an online survey to collect personal stories of beliefs, community-based theater workshops and performances to bridge narratives on belief and a social media strategy to bring the broader message of interdependence, pluralism and understanding creatively out into the world.

This column is a creative exploration of personal stories shared through OutLook’s online survey. My goal is to highlight the humanity of people who walk different paths and hold different spaces. It is not meant as a critique. Rather, it is poetry. It is the unique form of beauty that transcends a single perspective. At times, it will be moving, humorous, sad, poignant, confusing and so much more. I hope it inspires readers to look at their own lives and find connections with others who are different than him/herself. For that is the only way we will bridge the ever-growing divides in our broken world.

Please note: I have taken some creative license with these statements. I have not changed the meaning. Rather, I have modified verb tense and added pronouns and articles where needed. I repeat some statements for artistic effect. I also have woven many narratives together into one poem. At the end of the poem, I provide the demographics of folks whose narratives have been woven together when available. 

“In This Moment”

In this moment

I am unsure about declaring my personal beliefs

In this moment

I love G-d, I love the book.

In this moment

i want to become more like the god i believe in: a god of compassion, of unconditional love, a god who takes the side of those who are forgotten, abused, and oppressed

In this moment

I believe in heterosexuality only.

In this moment

my god is beyond gender, is not an old white man with a beard, is beyond any human category or box we try to use to contain god

In this moment

I’m a bisexual, transgendered atheist!

In this moment

I have no real idea

In this moment

“… We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many languages.”

In this moment

I am sad at how the Torah is misunderstood and manipulated for negative things or even to impose judgment, shame or guilt.

In this moment

I realize that labels are only markers that obscure some profound experiences

In this moment

I have no right to judge

In this moment

I look like a normal woman…

In this moment

Only God can … choose

In this moment

the challenges we face as spiritual beings in a physical world are full of contradictions

Faith, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, gender, location (of respondents):

  1. [did not state], African/Euro, over 70, Gay…/…bi, male, San Francisco
  2. Christian/catholic in exile, Caucasian, 33-39, queer, female, Minnesota
  3. Jewish, Jewish, 33-39, married, female, Berkeley
  4. Christian, white, 18-25, heterosexual, female, [did not state]
  5. Atheist, White, 60-69, Bi, Female, New Hampshire

Jason Wyman is a life-long educator, writer, learner and performer. He finds spaces between things and then creates supports between them. He has helped professionalize youth development, created original theater, developed learning models based on peer exchange and shared expertise, written fables inspired by the darkness of fairy tales and fostered community rooted in social justice, creativity, and laughter. He lives in San Francisco with his beautiful husband and precocious cat. You can read more at www.14blackpoppies.com.


[1] Capitalization intentional.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s