Publications & Articles

Speak Out! | Preface

In November 1994 I was in Slovakia at the annual worldwork seminar sponsored by the Global Process Institute. Eastern Europe was changing rapidly after Russia had begun to loosen its hold and the Berlin wall had come down. Slovakia and The Czech Republic had recently become two nations and people were finding their voices after having lived for decades under the yoke of domination. Two hundred and fifty people from all over the world gathered together for two weeks to focus on the issues of our time, learn about conflict and group work, and create community from the awesome and unpredictable experiences that occur when so many people from various nations and cultures congregate.

In this atmosphere, in a worldwide learning community, in the midst of intense interaction around issues of race, gender, economics, sexual orientation, anti-Semitism, and fascism, I dreamed that I gave birth. Seconds out of my womb, the infant looked directly at me and spoke, "Write a book on love, sex, and eternity." Never has a dream been so clear and directive to my conscious mind. This work is a product of that calling.

I have often wondered why the baby immediately spoke. When I remember the awesome experiences I had in Slovakia, I will never forget the first days when eighty Slovaks and Czechs sat silently while western voices dominated the seminar. I was thrilled when revolution broke through this unconscious power and fresh voices flooded the floor. Indeed, the interactions in our seminar mirrored those of the world at large. The topic shifted its focus to the precarious political situation in Slovakia where an old-time communist puppet had just been elected. Most people were terribly distressed and feared that Slovakia would return to communist control. I was inspired by the courage of the Slovaks in speaking up, going against decades, and in some cases lifetimes, of tight social control that had infiltrated the deepest core of emotional and individual expression.

Days later the sexual minority community penetrated a wall of silence and oppression expressing the pain and anger that comes from enduring marginalization for loving someone of the same gender. I found myself speaking out in the midst of great adversity, standing for the eternal nature of love that knows no boundaries.

The worldwork seminars are incredible forums for speak outs, a time when various voices are heard uncensored. It is no wonder that I birthed a baby who also wanted to speak. This work is my speak out. The opinions and views are my own and do not represent any other marginalized person or group. Individuals who speak from the position of a marginalized group are often taken by the mainstream to reflect all of the ideals and viewpoints of that group. Groups on the margin reflect great individual diversity, just as difference of opinion is reflected in the mainstream.

The reader will find a voice that stands for love in all of its multitudinous displays. This work reflects on relationships, sexuality and intimacy, and their interface with culture, psychology, and spirituality. The eternal drive for freedom and liberation is echoed throughout. The essays also comment on a variety of social issues. In addition, this work is moved by the eternal yearnings of the spirit to learn and love, to feel connected to the heartbeat of the universe. Some pieces are autobiographical; some academic, and some in a poetic style. To follow my dreams and to write nakedly about love, sex and the eternal aspirations inside me, I had to be totally naked myself. Through stories and personal experiences, this work reflects and comments on the spirit of our social, political and cultural times.

This collection comes to press as we have entered the new millenium. This momentous time is infused with the power of our greatest hopes and fears. It is a time for new visions to emerge and fresh voices to be heard. It is a time for each of us to speak out and also to listen to the many voices out there. I hope to encourage and inspire each of us to speak out, to tell our stories and share our experiences as inspiration and learning for others.