In the construction world, if an existing joist is bowing under the burden of weight or damage, support boards are sometimes placed on each side of it and this is called 'Sistering'. When Sistered, the joist can once again manage the job.
I can't think of a better way to engage with this world than through the lens of sistering. I believe it is how we learn, breath by breath, to collectively tend and sustain the wellbeing of life on earth.
In the spirit of Sistering, I'd like to introduce you to one of my dearest friends, Val.
We met 15 years ago when I was studying abroad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and we have been companions of the heart ever since.
Val is a Rio born Mama, Grandmama and artist, who designs jewelry and apparel that represents and honors the diaspora of afro-brazilian culture.
The pandemic has dramatically reduced her ability to do business and she is currently struggling to manage the weight of a limited income along with the concurrent escalation of sickle cell anemia, a condition she's been living with since she was born.
I breathe more deeply when Val is well and her community near and far benefits daily from her powerful artistry, her tremendously loving presence and her spectacular wisdom. I'd like to 'Sister' Val, by providing support for her art, through my art, but I can't sister her alone.
Would you like to join me?
Be a part of the Sistering experience, by donating between $6 and $9 to receive a Reverence Bundle which will include 3 digital offerings, (an original story or essay, a poem and a song-prayer), based around the themes of community and communion and intended for you to ingest as inspiration or integrate as part of your own blessing ritual. You will receive these offerings as a pdf and audio download. 100% of the donations made will go to Val. A newly created Reverence Bundle and another opportunity to donate will be available twice a month. My goal is to gather sustainable and reasonable support from a larger community on an ongoing basis, rather than to gather a one time larger show of support. If you are interested in a monthly Sistering membership, you can donate $18 at the beginning of every month and receive both monthly bundles.
Would you like to receive your first Reverence Bundle and Sister Val alongside me? You can make your donation via Venmo to the handle @Jocelyn-Steury. In the memo write the word, Sistering and your email address. You can also Sister in the name of a loved one and leave their email address instead.
As we swim through the intensely turbulent sea of human experience, my daily self-reminder is this:
We are each necessary parts of the larger body that is humanity. The path to healing is one of inclusion. I want to integrate instead of amputate. Therefore, everyone's gifts are necessary. We must find our way to shore, together.