Why die just once? Why not make a habit of it?
Our life is our greatest work of art.
And our story, whether spoken, written or sung, is a bridge toward ourselves and toward each other. Toward a community lit up. Awake. Sometimes woken rudely.
RudeWoke is me, the student of myself meeting you, the student of yourself. It’s me healing myself and helping you heal.
RudeWoke is us, true to our nature. On the edge, knees buckling, feathers ruffling.
RudeWoke is us taking risks. Creating something new, something honest and true. Bringing our vision across. It’s us breathless, flying and free.
RudeWoke is us crawling and falling, and standing up. It’s us leaning in. It’s every kindness to ourselves and the selves we’ve been. It’s our devotion and our reverence. It’s us in love.
RudeWoke is us standing in our truth, standing for our sisters and brothers of every age and every surface feature. It’s our human community lit up. For good.
RudeWoke came to me in the Spring of 2018 as I was rebranding this website and musing on what common thread connected my various roles, stories, experiences and values. At the time, I was healing a broken collarbone and the act of writing with my dominant hand was arduous and painful, but I pressed on.
Throughout my life, my obstacles have taken me deeper into the meaning of my life, my choices, and my understanding of people and the world. I’ve had my share of rude awakenings that have brought growth and wisdom. Events around which the entirety of my life has shifted.
In January of 2017, life hurled a rude awakening of such force onto my path that it took me down. Literally. Down to the ground and bruised. The hawk, who first appeared to me in Austin around the death of a friend of mine, reappeared in my life after a 20 year absence. It has been my steady companion in the skies over Brooklyn and elsewhere which is why you’ll find so many hints of this great raptor throughout these pages.
I was riffing on the idea of rude awakenings with my husband and about the common term to be WokeAF. A few seconds later we hit on it. Like a one-two punch, I said “rude” and he said “woke.” It was one of those moments when an idea just sneaks up from behind and taps you on the shoulder. I knew it as soon as we said it: RudeWoke.
Rude is a way to awaken. To be RudeWoke is to have been through something. You can be 25 and have been through something or 85 and have been through something. It’s not how much you’ve been through, it’s what you’ve done with what you’ve been through. How you’ve used your setbacks and falldowns to grow yourself and your worldview. To be Rudewoke is to not give up, not resign, but to press on, to create something from it, to use it, to offer it, to spend it.
RudeWoke is not a teaching. It’s not a map. It’s you intuiting your path and aligning with it. It’s learning to befriend yourself, embrace yourself, guide yourself. Shed more and more of what isn’t truly you and make space for what IS truly you to emerge and serve. It’s seeing how everything you experience is meaningful, purposeful and for your use. To be RudeWoke is to live creatively and that includes living destructively. There’s room for destruction in the awakened life. There’s room for endings, for death and dying. These forces are in service to life and not the other way around. Life is not in service to death. Living does not serve dying, dying serves living. To be RudeWoke is to die a little bit every day, to yourself. For the benefit of your life and all lives. It is to know that your path is an ongoing revelation.
The jolt to my sensibilities that this particular rude awakening caused crystalized a good many ideas I’ve been toying with for years. Waking up drove this idea home: Don’t dwell on life coming to an end. It will happen and you can’t know when. Dwell on what’s still inside you that has yet to be admitted. Make a seat for that soul at the table of yourself.