Tuesday, June 02, 2009

beyond abstraction

i've spent much of the morning thinking through and writing some thoughts in the aftermath of the death of dr tiller.
for the second time in a month i had received contact from someone asking for my thoughts related to abortion. both openings for conversation came from people i care about, both far away, and whose perspectives in conversation are always not only welcome, but valued, for their substantive and typically compassionate intelligence. and yet, i am struck at how challenging it is when, at such distance, you can't have such conversation in bodily presence, even with folks who know something of the measure of one's heart.

for that very reason, i remain unsure if i am comfortable exploring my views here on the blog, despite having given a lot of committed thought to it of late, (along with the Ryan Report, which is no less troubling), such is the deep sensitivity of the issue. i cannot read your body language and you cannot read mine and we do not necessarily know one another's story.

i am deeply conscious that when i go back to academia in the autumn this will be a curriculum issue for class discussion and probably one of the only feminist conversations i feel actively cautious about having to engage in - such is the need for that sensitivity, especially when one does not know the stories of those with whom one will be expected to debate.

but i will go so far as to say, i think these three offerings are worthy of our time and our consideration... i believe we need a lot more of this kind of nuanced and measured approach in the public square, where up to now there has been so much violent and hate-filled speech:

frank shaeffer on rachel maddow show
andrew sullivan on keith olbermann

regina spektor's laughing with - which Pád independently sent me as i was writing my thoughts and, although nothing to do with the issue, it was some kind of artistic salve.

in the aftermath of dr tiller's murder, i find myself once again praying for humility and wisdom - in my listening as well as in my speaking.

i have only once before (briefly) mentioned abortion in these pages. as i said then, it does not occur in a vacuum. and nor do our values or beliefs. or our lives.


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