I'm very grateful for a conversation I had recently with a man who challenged my obvious wariness of any kind of organization in this men's work. What, after all, was the point?
From our talk I realized I'd fallen into the trap of stating what I feel negatively -- what I don't want. I don't want the "Men's Movement" to become yet another outside structure that supposedly holds the secret to defining my manhood. I don't want to succumb to my very obvious male temptation to believe I'm doing men's work just because I'm busy -- busy organizing, arranging, promoting, advertising. I don't want any one way of stating it to become the definition of who I am. O.K. -- but what do I want?
After some reflection, I realize I want this men's work to mean I associate with a community of you men, my brothers from whom I have been too long isolated. I want to associate with you because -- while I can't ever define my maleness from you -- I must define it with you.
Above all then, what I want is to do my work, the job of finding who I am, the job of becoming a human being, as Kicking Bird suggested in Dances with Wolves. And I want to do that with you men who know this "Men's Movement" is about doing our work -- exploring our hearts, finding our feelings, walking the inner road to ourselves as the only genuine road to our brothers, our sisters, the animals, and the whole green earth. This I believe is what excites us in Robert Bly's message. And where will we be if this "Men's Movement" turns out to be yet another drug? Wouldn't that be a loss?!
My hope is that On The Common Ground is doing all it can to keep the focus on the work. We have of course begun to get organized. We continue to organize support groups of 8 to 10 guys -- and anyone interested should feel free to get in touch. By the time you receive this, we will have held our first drumming day together -- and they will continue regularly. Please come, and bring friends. We are in the early stages of a publication to permit men in our area to speak whatever is in them -- maybe we'll call it Voices from the Common Ground. Let us Know if you're interested. And, of course we continue to bring the creative spokesmen of our work here to New York City.
Please come share your work with ours.
Sincerely On The Common Ground,
© copyright 2002 Men On The Common