Heart Reading … Day 99

Karen Willard Ribeiro
3 min readOct 24, 2021


Solidarity … alongside Hypocrisy

This puzzle is called the Skeleton Dance (see below for the completed image)

Last night was another one of those stare-at-the-corners-of-the-room-and-the-cobwebs-of-the-mind sort of nights. I felt a huge urge to cry and get the resulting biochemical benefits so I forced my eyes to stay open until a tear ran into my ear. That was the best I could muster. C’est la vie.

Mostly what is “up” at the moment in this little heart of mine is one phrase uttered in a deep heart to heart conversation I had yesterday with a friend: “one nation under God.” You know … the pledge of allegiance to the US flag which, in my experience, was not something I chose for myself to give. Kind of like religion. Fun fact: the “under God” phrase was added in 1954 to the original pledge created in 1892 as a 400 year commemoration of Columbus.

“One nation under God”— and the rest of the pledge — has so many faults. I get the high-minded intention of wanting the “melting pot” to be a delicious soup full of opportunity for all, but that has never been the truth in this country — a country that has usurped hundreds of nations’ sovereignty to fabricate a dream of unity … so long as you identify as Christian.

Hardly indivisible — or liberating — or just.

I cannot write a Heart Reading on Day 99 without reflecting on the “99 percent” notion of uniting most of us — the majority of “the people” in the spirit of solidarity — as celebrated on bumperstickers and of course by the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011. According to Michael Levitin, “Occupy showed a new generation how to turn social movements into a viral spectacle that seizes control of the public narrative.” Upsetting the power mongers and demanding political transparency is the OWS legacy … and the ongoing fight.

And, as I have been coming to understand more clearly lately, the fight is best fought with the spirit and vision of liberation and justice — advocating, testifying, rallying, writing, dancing, singing, praising, and celebrating the best of life without forgetting the legacies of those who have come and that which has taken place before.

In my heart of hearts, I am always most passionate to work in solidarity with an expanding community of truth tellers. I know, see, feel and believe this community to be not just waking up and doing their urgent cultural sensitivity training, but to be taking daily measures to act from that embodied place of liberation and justice-seeking.

One dream I have — which I would put energy into if I could hold one more big thing — is to create space for people to voice their experience of being a hypocrite. We’re all hypocrites in various ways and if we were able — in the spirit of a “hypocrites anonymous” 12-step like model — to be in community, to free our souls from the burden of self recrimination, we would achieve liberty and justice for all.



Karen Willard Ribeiro

Beyond Karen: emerging from the depths of an epic epithet is available at innerfortune.com and at your favorite independent bookseller. Thanks for reading.