Getting to Gratitude

When survival and surviving are core challenges it is all too easy, and often all too instinctive, to overlook the good in life. Gratitude is a way of affirming the good—life over death, creation over destruction, connection over isolation, and triumph over loss. Gratitude takes trust—trust in the untrustworthy idea of authentic help, support, and love. And gratitude requires healing—because rage and its relatives are always scrambling for center-stage. Gratitude trumps rage. It requires us to grow up, get a bit of distance, and honor the fact that we actually need one another when need itself can feel like the ultimate four-letter word.

In this spirit of creative conundrum, Borne is committed to expressing gratitude to those working to eliminate torture and abuse in our world. We honor the work of Linda MacDonald and Jeanne Sarson in Naming the Unspeakable: Non-State Torture. In this post we express gratitude to long-time activist and educator Jean Riseman.

We invite you to send us your appreciation for those who cast a light into the shadows of this world and make a difference.
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Nick Bryant

Interview with Nick Bryant

In 2009, when Nick Bryant’s book, The Franklin Scandal: A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse and Betrayal came out, I immediately ordered a copy. When it arrived, more than 600 pages of it, I dove in with excited anticipation which all too quickly became a slow slog. Its complexity, its journalistic imperative, and its fastidious attention to detail—all the things that name it authentic and critically important—stopped me in my tracks. My survivor mind couldn’t cope with its objectivity, its compelling and sequential truth. My cognitive allegiance was to the survivors and the inchoate and inarticulate truth of their struggle. Bryant was writing about the legal logistics of horrendous crimes against children and the resulting cover-up. In the Franklin Scandal he details the real-time unfolding of the attempts, heroic and dogged on the parts of those who tried to bring justice to light, as well as on the parts of those doing everything possible to thwart justice and destroy survivors. It is a legal playbook that illuminates shocking miscarriages of justice and callous and conniving cover-up. But I couldn’t read it. I couldn’t track it. Continue reading

From the Editor

Introducing Borne

Welcome to Borne, an online journal exploring the landscape of systemic personal, cultural, societal, and global oppression and its impacts upon person, place, and possibility. Our goal is to invite a broad dialogue rooted in the strength and wisdom of those who have experienced first-hand the darkness of oppression, as well as its partner, the undying light of freedom in the human spirit.

The definition of Borne is: “To bear, and to be carried or transported by…”

We all bear the burden of birthing a global society based on respect, acceptance, and that four-letter word, love. Loving who we are is the beginning and the end of love’s challenge. In between rests love for all sentient beings, and all life on earth. Connecting to the creative and unrelenting impetus of life as it generates itself throughout the universe means connecting to inner personal life and its ever-unfolding possibilities. When we heal ourselves, we begin to heal the earth. When we heal the earth, we begin to heal ourselves. When we create, we are created. There is no separation. We are continually being Borne-again, bearing one another, and being borne by one another, coming together to transform the isolation of suffering–of person and planet–into a river of light that bears us all into the sea of grace and possibility. And it all comes down to story: Who are we? What do we know? How do we know it? Where does it lead us? Why does it matter? These are the questions that matter in these dark times, the questions that let the light in.

The Borne collective is also developing workshops and conferences that inform and inspire. Our Borne-again belief is that surviving extreme trauma can result in extreme wisdom as well as compassion for others and passion for truth and justice. Survivors often get sidelined in life because of their history; we believe that survivors who explore the depths of healing surface as warriors for life and that we have the responsibility to share our wisdom, compassion and passion with others. Being a survivor is not about being sidelined–it’s about be empowered and empowering others. We live in beleaguered times–a Global Age of Abuse and a Global Culture of Denial. The spiritual, emotional, psychological, intellectual, and political insights we gain through our healing are needed in every way possible.

We invite you to join us on this journey, to bear witness to one another, and to the ever-unfolding gifts that life offers as it bears us forward in healing, even as we face, and are faced by, the darkest oppression of our times.

Welcome aboard. Hang on for the ride. Make a few waves. Turn the tide.