Grateful to bring you our next installment in our bi-weekly messages with a prayer, an ancestor and a song speaking to our spirits. This week Megan Selby, who is supporting some of our work while Nora Rasman is on leave with Gente4Abrams, curates our offering. One ancestor to lean on, one prayer for our messy lives, and one song to strengthen and soothe.
“Her devotion to liberty made her an anarchist; her hostility to patriarchy made her a feminist. She was too much the former to join the organized women’s movements of her day, and too much the latter to ally with mainline political anarchists- most of them men- whose devotion to liberty often stopped short of women’s liberation.”
Kate Cooper Austin (1864–1902) was an American journalist, feminist, and anarchist. She was born into a Universalist and spiritualist family of strong women (1). Her politic and work would more likely be a comfortable fit in a modern UU church than it was in her time. Her association with free thought and free love movements were not acceptable to many of her contemporaries which may be way she isn’t represented among Universalist histories and perhaps why she never affiliated with a Universalist church after childhood. Such histories tend to do their best to quickly move past the admission that some Universalists of the time were devoted to spiritualism and free love. Her social location as poor, rural, anarchist, feminist woman must play some role in her relative obscurity in modern times, in spite of her being a member of the American Press Writers' Association (2). She wrote for many working-class and radical newspapers, publishing almost 200 articles advocating for more expansive, inclusive movements for gender and social justice.
Like Kate Cooper Austin may we speak our truths, live our values, know our sacredness even when our work goes unseen in our lifetimes. May we shine even when we feel alone.
We are part of this universe; we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts, is that the universe is in us.
- Neil Degrasse Tyson
I knew from the start I don’t belong in these parts
There's too much hate, there's too much hurt for this heart
Lord knows this planet feels like a hopeless place
Thank God I'm going back home to outer space
from "Spaceship" by Kesha (written by Kesha/Pebe Sebert/Drew Pearson)