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POETRY BLOG

STRAIGHT FROM THE DESK

On the unmaking of Russell Brand

Watching Russell Brand get hammered these last two weeks I can't help but be acutely aware that one day my own time will come in some form or another.


I've already experienced micro-versions of being hunted and being beheaded in the past 5 years and while they were deeply destabilizing and scary experiences...I'm now grateful for these moments where I've been humbled to my knees, where I faced myself from different angles, and had to find deep love and respect for all involved (including myself) rather than just seeking to punish anyone or create enemies.


Just like Russell right now - I haven't always done it well.


Just like Russell right now - when I first experienced being torn apart I fought back tooth and nail and used my intellect to avoid facing the tender core of the moment.


It's a key initiatory moment for all leaders if you're lucky enough for it to find you.


The moment where you are called to face yourself in a way you don't want to... and stand naked and bare and honest in the eyes of all...


The moment where the parts of you that you aren't proud of, the parts of you that you're afraid of...are demanded forward by your fellow humans... Where your shadow is called into the light though doing so may unmake everything that you once were.


This is extremely raw humanity.


I haven't seen a single being meet this moment with the grace, slowness and holding of deep complexity that I know in my heart is possible.


I do know that such beings are out there though they are truly few and far between.


After all we are still toddlers; hiding that which we are ashamed of, punishing each other for making mistakes, and not holding each other's unmakings with grace, care, understanding and embodied presence.


Generations from now this will not be the case.

But right now it is.


In the past when I've worked with men I've passed on that 'every man must kill his father at least once in their lifetime'.


It's a necessary shift in the way a son relates to his father that assures shifting power dynamics and a relationship that remains life-giving and deeply honest.


It's also the moment when a father is humbled and called beyond intellect and story to simply be the love that he is in an embodied and pure way.


The same can be said for leadership...


A Community must kill a leader at least once in their time at the helm.


The only thing is that when they kill them...


They must also be prepared to hold that leader through their unmaking,


not look away as they crumble,


bring them food as they squirm and roar and shake for weeks on end...


Hold them in their arms as if they are a newborn...


After all they have just been unmade and their form has been crumbled...


It makes sense that a leader will fight tooth and nail when it comes to the moment of their unmaking...


Our community isn't mature enough to hold it yet...


Our community wants to throw them in jail...


Throw stones and sharp words at them...


Talk about them carelessly behind their back...


Read stories about their downfall...


And that's what I want to call us all into today...


If you want to head hunt a leader...


If you want to head hunt Russell...


You have to be prepared to truly meet him in his unmaking...


Look him in the eyes as he crumbles...


Bring him water and bread and blankets...


Hold him like a parent as he faces parts of himself that terrify him, that he has pushed down for decades...


If you want to kill Russell you must be prepared to hold his corpse in your arms...


until your arms are burning with the effort...


until you yourself are crushed under the weight of his dead form...


And then...


When you yourself have been humbled by his crumbling...


When you have remembered how much you need this being...


How much you love this being...


How important he is to you...


How he is your cousin...


How you share a great grandmother...


How your world would be less without him...


Then you gently place flower petals on his chest and forehead...


Then you drip holy water along his lifeless form...


Then you gather the village and everyone sings the song that is his...


And then... and only then...


Will he gasp and splutter and come back to life...


And then...and only then...


Will the whole village gasp and splutter and come back to life.


So...


if you want to kill Russell... Make sure you block the next few months off your calendar, start collecting flower petals, gather up all the holy water you can find...


And be ready for the whole village to be unmade in the process.


If you want to kill Russell make sure that you're prepared to cry and die with him.


~ Matthew Liam Gardner

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