Big Topics at Midnight and I stepped out into the world together under last August’s Blue Moon in Portland, Oregon. Yesterday, the two of us juggled justice, soul and our world with thirty amazing people in Littleton, Massachusetts, on the afternoon of June’s full moon. In between these two events, we’ve been opening conversations together in Redwood City, Atlanta, Oakland, Portland, Washington DC, Eastern Shore Virginia, Burlingame, Newport, Toronto, New York City –sixteen different events in seven US states and one Canadian province.
After seven years of the intimacy of writing, where the book and I were hard to separate, Big Topics at Midnight was born into the world. She didn’t feel like a baby, more like a teenager who had her own thoughts and her own life but still wanted me to stick around, not too close but always ready to pay for her adventures.
The only trouble was that I knew more about writing than I did about marketing. Websites and blogs, YouTubes and interviews, Facebook and Ebooks, reviews and events… the list of things to learn seemed endless while time had very demanding limits. I’ve felt incompetent more times than I care to admit, only to have it shift to amazement that I could learn more than I ever thought possible.
The first few months of our outside-my-writing-studio-work were filled with a critical question—what am I trying to do with Big Topics at Midnight? Is my focus selling books? Am I opening conversations?
I am obviously trying to sell books. I didn’t order 1,000 all for myself. Since a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the books is split between three organizations dear to my heart—Be Present, Inc., Harvest Time and Community Wholeness Venture—I want to sell as many books as possible.
My primary interest, however, is to open the conversations. A few of the questions that have guided these “book events” are as follows:
How might waking up to your own heart radically transform your life?
How might waking up to injustice bring you to the front lines of this ripe moment in history?
Before us: ancestors. After us: generations yet unborn. How is your life impacted by a context that wide?
Parents warned us to avoid hot topics in polite conversation. Now, our silence is harming our earth, relationships and souls. Are you ready to speak?
The world churns as the old ways crumble. In the midst of it all, we long for justice and our hearts yearn to guide the way. Are you ready to exploring life lived in the midst of such a wide paradox?
The Spirit of giving? Simple. The process of giving? Complicated. Justice demands thoughtful attention.
These book events were are offered to facilitate people jumping from my story into their own lives. My hope was that we’d catch a glimpse of how together we can wake up and live more boldly, knowing that everyone, even our enemies, is our neighbor. Our ancestors at our back and generations yet unborn are encouraging us, calling us, pushing us into the dance of life that is just and filled with soul right in the middle of the gaps that divide us.
None of us has to do it all. Workaholism and striving for perfection are part of the problem. The divisions are deep. Hard work is involved, but so is delight and joy. Generations yet unborn are waiting for us all to fully engage in the dance of life.
Last July was spent with final editing and waiting. With the book at Sheridan Printers, I had a month to contemplate what lay ahead. Now I return to a month of slowing down and listening deeply. What does the upcoming year hold for Big Topics and me?
I don’t know. But I am eager to find out.