Are Your Shackles Showing?
These Comments Might Trigger You
Hyperbole, Metaphor or Shades of Reality?
You've been held in a windowless room for a long time. So long, you can't remember how long it's been. You have shackles on your ankles. Sometimes you can see beyond your sleeping pad, sometimes not so much. You're instructed to perform tasks assigned to you according to the will of your captor. Most days you work so long you feel as if you'll drop. Sometimes you have enough food to eat, other times not. It's cold and damp in this holding cell where you've lived most of your life. You've been sick here, but you have no access to a doctor. You've been beaten regularly, physically and verbally, for infractions perceived by your captor. You still have the bruises. You've not been outside this place for so long you've stopped scraping the number of days you've been held captive onto the walls.
But, sometimes, you can faintly hear a voice whispering to you from the outside. It's a voice that calls to you in quiet moments when the usual crushing noise more easily heard doesn't drown it out. It's hard to understand the words the voice is speaking. They sound so foreign to you. The voice suggests there is something else outside this cell. When you ask your captor about it, the reply is always the same...laughter, mocking, anger. So you become afraid to listen.
Then one day your captor gets careless. Or maybe you're listening closer. The incessant noise seems less. Your captor forgot to lock the shackles on your ankles and bolt the door. You hear the voice outside. It offers you something else. It sounds too good to be true. You've heard your captor say as much. You'd been told that the voice offers empty promises that will never become reality. But you ask yourself how much longer you can go on here? So, you stand up at your sleeping pad. Your legs are shaking. The hair is standing up on the back of your neck and carefully, timidly, you walk toward the unbolted door. You reach out. Your hand is shaking as you place it on the knob. You see the red marks from old bruises on your wrists. Something inside you knows you no longer can tolerate this cell. Only, it's all you've ever known, or it's all you remember.
It's your moment of truth. You might not get this chance again in your lifetime. Do you turn the knob? Do you step across the threshold and move toward the voice? Or do you shrink back, fearfully choosing the familiar, the devil you know? Do you choose the somewhat reliable crumbs laced with indifference and resentment your abuser has been dishing out for years? Can this really be all there is? Or can you find it in yourself to take a leap of faith? Are you going to continue a life of institutionalized abuse and exploitation or are you going to walk across the threshold into a different life?
That's the choice so many of us are faced with today, from the boardroom to the bedroom and voting booth. Do we continue to normalize the abuse from our religions, our employers, our government, our social circles and even some of our families? Do we continue to accept, even perhaps cheer, and normalize the exploitation of capitalism and patriarchy?
Some say this new (or revived) path is folly, baloney, or magical flying ponies. They warn it's riddled with danger, disappointment and failure. Some even say you're a lazy taker if you want a better quality of life and expect income equality, fairness and a solid social safety net.
Others, who remember, or who look at the facts, know this was once a well-trodden path that led to balance, fairness and equality and can be again - but, perhaps many have forgotten, because they too have become locked in the windowless room for too long - or - perhaps, they reject these ideas because they now are the ones with the power. Perhaps, they are the ones holding the key to our cell.
We can't keep doing the same things over and over and expect different results. Sometimes we're stuck and need someone to show us the doors and windows opening before us....or the doors and windows we need to slam open ourselves. We might need some inspiration. Someone to take us by the hand. Books can do this for us. Books can be that friend!
We all have our favorite books on our shelves. Sometimes we read them again and again because when we go back to them we understand things differently. We catch things we might have missed the first time around. Maybe they give us new inspiration or give comfort.
Good books hold their value, never go out of style and stay relevant.....
ON SALE now...signed copies for $18 plus $5 S&H ((U.S. only) Use Paypal by clicking PayPal.Me/karentate or send a check payable to Karen Tate, PO BOX 5021,
PMC, CA 93222
Check out endorsements from the back cover ...
Ann Baring....Beloved Foremother and Author --
"A wonderful book, by a wonderful woman, sounding a sacred roar that rises from a rich compendium of voices within..."
Barbara Marx Hubbard...Author, Visionary and Founder of Conscious Evolution --
"This is a vital work to bring the indispensable feminine co-creator into the field of Conscious Evolution"
Contributors include Noam Chomsky, Riane Eisler, Gloria Feldt, Laura Flanders, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Phyllis Chesler, Barbara Walker, Matthew Fox, Starhawk, Roy Bourgeois, Charles Eisenstein, Genevieve Vaughan, Carl Ruck, David Hillman, Judy Grahn, Nicki Scully, Normandi Ellis, Selena Fox, Patrick McCollum, Jann Aldredge Clanton, Cristina Biaggi, Charlene Spretnak, Shirley Ranck, Elizbeth Fisher, Amalya Peck, Art Noble, Jean Blonigen Clancy, Joan Norton, Andrew Gurevich, Gus DiZerega, Layne Redmond, Vajra, Ava, Donna Henes, Karen Tate,Sandra Spencer, Isadora Leidenfrost, ALisa Starkweather, Joan Marler, Tim Ward, and James Reitveld.