Purging darkness

As many of you may know we have been so hopeful about the promise of a new second level school in our local area, and active in our personal involvement in the campaign to make it an Educate Together school. It has been a strong flame of hope for us. Regular readers will know just how big a deal school is for me, for us as a family. And so I feel sick, angry and shocked at the announcement today that the new school will be the only one of nine in the country, awarded to a Catholic patronage.
I don’t want to defend or attack any individual Catholics or to cause hurt. It is not about you or me. Catholicism is not my path. Nor my family’s nor that of so many families in the local area. And every school in this area, bar one private school is already Catholic. And so I feel frustrated that at the time when our children, the next generation of this new world, start moving into their adult consciousness, the only places on offer to them are all not of the consciousness we choose to impart to them. The place they learn day in day out about their feelings of love, arousal, sexuality, spirituality, their paradigm and sense of self and self-worth… will all be in a place which is so dissonant with our own values.
I feel angry, angry, angry. Because we were promised that these new schools would bring diversity, would reflect parents’ and children’s needs which were not already being served by existing schools.

I am angry because of reasons that I do not want to go into here, and I am a writer who could be sued for libel, not an impervious religious body that still holds vast power. But I do not feel that they have, through numerous past actions in the local area, only recently admitted, proven themselves to be a body to which I would trust my children’s bodies or souls.
And so we are left reeling, as are hundreds of parents in the local area, wondering what we do next, where we turn, what our options are: to move 40 miles to be close to the new Educate Together school which has been approved? To commute that distance every day? To home educate? To start a home-ed co-operative or private school, to move to the UK or further afield…. None of the options hold any desire for me… And nor do the schools on offer here. And there are SO many parents that I know personally who are in the same situation.
So here I am, in the dark time of my cycle, the moon darkening in the sky and I feel full of frustration, full of anger and darkness. I am taking part at the moment in a very powerful women’s e-course, and we are purging shame and guilt and darkness there too. It runs deep. So deep. It is pervasive. And it gets rooted young.

So much of it is not individual, but collective, built up generation by generation, and now, those of us that are wanting to shift it, to get to somewhere fresh, somewhere creative and vibrant and life-affirming in our own psyches, in our collective culture, we are purging the darkness, speaking shame, shining light on it, sharing, and moving beyond.

But some days it really feels like I don’t have the energy to keep purging, to keep pushing and shaking and resisting the old ways. Trying to knock down old walls, and campaign for new ways. Trying to persuade and convince, and apologise and not offend the old-wayers. How much simpler it would be just to bow my head and accept, as so many have done for generations. To be grateful for what I have. To make the best of it. To stop being so demanding, so entitled.
Or to be happy to lay down my own life, my own career and soul-work to home-ed if it’s so important to me.
Fuck it, fuck it, fuck it.

I am angry. But I know I am not alone in it. There’s a lot of us. Angry. Frustrated. And finding our voices… watch out world!

PS So me being me I have gone into overdrive and in the past couple of hours have:

  • Set up a petition – you can sign here 
  • Contacted the regional newspapers with a press release.
  • Written emails to the Minister for Education and our local Representatives
  • Spread the word via social media so others can share their voices.
I don’t know what can be achieved. But I know I won’t go down silent or without a fight.

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