Episode 1.12: Ancestors I




In episode twelve, Tim and Tuesday talk about how we honour and interpret our ancestors’ actions, roles, and impacts — think reverberations of colonialism and class — to grasp the underpinnings of our current world.

Together, Tim Merry and Tuesday Ryan-Hart are THE OUTSIDE—systems change and equity facilitators who bring the fresh air necessary to organize movements, organizations, and collaborators forward for progress, surfacing new mindsets for greater participation and shared impact.

1.12 —— SHOW NOTES

  • Tim: I’ve been doing a lot of work around what it means to have been raised and educated within my class. I realized the need to own the impacts of my ancestry on me and my life, my brother, my sister, parents and friends. This provided a new invitation to see it and take it in—not only how I’m often approached which is colonizer-based. 

  • Tues: We are talking about ancestors on two levels: our direct ancestors and their impact on our families and ancestors at large (our people and their impacts). That’s not always a straight line. 

  • Tim: We are already ancestors by virtue of being alive. We need to begin to think of ourselves as ancestors.

  • Tues: For me it’s the whole view that says, ‘can I soften my heart to let in that whole view; while very much holding that right now our pasts, our presents and our future is absolutely impacted by our positioning related to that colonialism.’

  • Tim: This is about analyzing our own society with the same rigor we apply to other areas of our society. What is the emotional and psychological state of the people in senior leadership positions? How is that playing out?

  • Tues: The systems aren’t broken. They are doing what they were designed to do.

  • Tim: This ends with how I raise my own children. The power to change is in my house. And something else also starts here, which is what so much of our work and friendship is—the ability to be in whatever happens next and knowing what has come before.

  • POEM: ‘The Boxer’ by Tim Merry

    The boxer

    They abandoned me
    They should have been there
    I was left
    Curled up under a duvet cover from home
    Wishing to not be seen
    Heart beating, scared
    “Why did you leave me here?”

    Red, jagged and spiralling 
    From solar plexus out
    Running frantic energy through my body
    All the way to my fingers and toes
    But nowhere to run, nobody I know
    To run to
    “Where were you?”

    This was meant to be grand adventure
    Not trauma
    Not weeping at 43
    Only feeling me
    When the tears flow
    Hand on heart
    We never should have been apart
    Our family
    You and me

    In the empty space
    Stepped the boxer, braced
    For any attack
    Come one, come all
    I am ready, poised, watchful
    Fists up, back to the wall, there is no leaving
    Sadness turned to anger
    Reading to explode
    When things get beyond control
    Protecting my soul
    When you did not

    I surrounded myself with a team of defenders

    All to keep the world at bay
    Because it was not safe 
    To come out and play

    Now slowly I am peeping out
    My blurry eyed head
    Over parapet walls
    There is me 
    Looking in
    To the place I protected
    Where I am not longer connected 
    Meeting eye to eye
    Starting to cry
    More tears to flow
    More of myself to know
    If I dare go slow
    With the flow
    Of what the wisdom of my psyche
    Is unveiling to me now
    At 43
    I am coming back home, to me


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Duration: 36:39
Produced by: Mark Coffin @ Sound Good Studios
Theme music: Gary Blakemore
Episode cover image: source