love belongs to those who do the feeling
When you support our crowdfund launch campaign at the $50 level, we’ll mail you one of Judy Grahn’s books signed by her in gratitude for your support. We are thrilled to be offering love belongs to those who do the feeling as one of those books.
“Commonality and Community” – A selection from Judy Grahn’s introduction to her book love belongs to those who do the feeling
“I am so tied to community for my writing, that if I don’t have one I will go create one, just to have a community to write into; to connect with; to write from. To some extent this is the primary way I have gotten my work to be understood; then community people of all descriptions carry it into the world, write it on walls, take it into classrooms, put it to music, put it up on their websites, and simply refuse to let it disappear. The people who love it put it to “use.”
That may seem strange to still need this conduit given that “accessible” is the number one description for my poetry, but I am not talking about style or form – I am talking about content. The content of my work has always been controversial, especially for folks who just don’t want to engage with the necessity for social change. But what is love if not looking after others?
Commonality holds individuality and difference within a context of possible unity. Commonality holds that we are at the center of some groups and the margins of others; overlapping boundaries of affinity and mutuality help us form alliances; our differences create a tension that stretches, teaches, and demands continual negotiation and occasional revolution.
Commonality is the overlapping of circles; there is not just one single circle with margins and center. While there are circles with fewer of certain kinds of resources and access, there are also “wealthy” circles that are “poor” and bereft of community or time or social values; there are “unwealthy” groups that have artful, dignified lives, and so on. Commonality asks people to look for what we have in common, and to respect and acknowledge differences. Commonality makes of every person a subject, not an object. Ideas and practices of commonality are not about trying to find one thing which we all must hold in common, like a common dream or a common language, or a common set of ideal behaviors. Alliances are about different kinds of practical commonality, commonality of experience, need, purpose, intention or direction: common cause. And within the multiple circles of commonality, common differences are not only allowed, they are expected, including differences in dreams, desires, and language; in economies, histories, psychologies, and spiritualities . . .