You Want a Revolution? I Want a Revelation.
By Laura Crosby
"You want a revolution? I want a revelation." This echoes in my mind these days. A rebellious line from the free-thinking, quick-witted, sharp-tongued black female lead in Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton.
The first time I heard this lyric, it was like a meditation bell, waking mind and heart to the present moment and to something that had been stirring in me. This simple refrain was a declaration, a dare, a secret handshake, a knowing smile.
I, too, want a revelation.
To be clear, I'm not speaking of a revelation in the religious sense or one all my very own. Rather, I want a revelation - or revelations - for our time. Ones that will serve humanity and all life. Ones that help us make sense of this defining moment, that help us heal and grow from it.
We know what's at stake in this "perfect storm" of a global pandemic, environmental crisis, racial injustice, economic upheaval, and an election that may well be a watershed moment for democracy.
Could there be a better time to pay attention and mindfully reflect on the truths at play? On what we might learn, understand, and change individually and collectively?
Bringing awareness and compassion to our own experience, we come to trust that we can meet the emotions, confusion, and difficulties of even these trying times, if only for a few moments at a time - which is often enough.
Pausing to calmly abide with our minds and hearts open in this way, turning toward the truth of each moment, we make space for the natural arising of insight, of revelation. And with this, we can more often plant the seeds of clarity and peace the world so needs.
Author Arundhati Roy suggests that this pandemic can be a portal. She says,
"It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it."
If this time is to be a portal, we must be open to its revelations. This will be our legacy - the legacy of how we meet this moment, understand its teachings, and build a gateway to the next world. As they say in Hamilton, "What is a legacy? It's planting seeds in a garden you never get to see."
May we all get to see some of this garden. I'll see you there.