scintilla – tribes.

i’m a cofounder of the scintilla project. our goal is to give you a reason to unlock your storytelling voice. we provide a selection of daily prompts and encouragement, and you provide a post that goes beyond the surface into Why. in some you’ll be the hero, in some the villain, and in some an innocent bystander. every day is a new chance to go deeper. today’s prompt: list the tribes you belong to: cultural, personal, literary, you get the drift. talk about the experience of being in your element with your tribes..

the thing about me is that i don’t know how to identify with a larger whole. i am in my 20s. i am female. i am an american citizen. i am a nonprofit employee. i am really into the internet. these are all true and they’re pretty convenient labels, and i use them frequently, but i find it nigh impossible to say that i feel at home with anyone because they share one or some of these labels with me. there is a chance i will really dig you, but it probably has little to do with the tribes you belong to.

the reason i always felt squicky about going to church is because i didn’t really understand the concept of a parish. i knew, from context clues, that it was the group of people that attended the church. but how did that make any sense? some people are there every week and some people are there only one. i hardly know any of these people, all i do is shake their hand and say “peace be with you” – i am not the same as them. we don’t share anything. i don’t know how to be a part of your community.

so, the prompt is to talk about tribes but i can’t. perhaps this is not how i operate. what moves me, what makes me tick, are the people i call kindreds and they come few and far between. and i’m really ok with that, because it makes our relationships intensely special, and a source of huge wonder and delight. and if those relationships explode they do so spectacularly, they leave me with craters taken out of me, but this is because i have given of myself and i refuse to believe that that is a mistake.

so here is to my kindreds (two of whom are the co-organizers of this project, but i’m sure you guessed that already because i’ve gushed about them before. sorry i’m not sorry). here’s to you, my beautiful, wonderful, soulful as hell people – you are my tribe.

7 thoughts on “scintilla – tribes.

  1. The neat thing is that if I tried to answer this, I would probably have done it in much the same way. At times I’ve thought it was a failing, but I also love knowing that there are no limits on where I will find the people I gel with.

  2. We have just spoken about the latter part of this post and still I have to come here and reiterate it. I am grateful – hugely so – for you and your friendship and that of Kim also.

  3. I think we all have John Donne to blame for making us try to form tribes. Or maybe not. I just wanted to throw a John Donne reference in here.

  4. I think being part of no tribe is also being part of a tribe. Like the brotherless aiel, they form their own clan.

    I don’t know. I’ve also never really felt at home with a church, because I believe in a personal unique relationship with the spiritual world for every person. I guess there is something to be said of not wanting to be part of any tribe.

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