Hello Dear Ones,
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the state of our world.
Or maybe it’s more that I’ve been *feeling* a lot lately … about the pain in our global world, our national world, our local world, our families, our bodies.
I’m with a friend in hospital right now, touching foot and hand and forehead as the pain from a recent surgery overwhelms her body so much that her brain finally shuts down and lets her sleep. Not because the pain in gone, or numbed, or managed. But just because there is no other choice but to power down consciousness in order to find healing.
And I’m thinking that this is how many of us are these days — with the president, and Syria, and the way our sibilings of color (perhaps you!) are being treated. At some point, the pain numbs us out. Shuts us down.
And in that we often have to rest, to sleep, to recharge for the fight.
And…and sometimes we need to stay on, and push just a little bit further, learn just a little bit more. So we don’t buy into the idea that we are fragile. So we find the growing edges of our FIERCE capacity.
Do you know what I mean? That place, when your child is ill, or your body is in pain, our your heart is really bloody broken — but you find in that horror this strange, unexpected strength. And you stretch out one more time, a few more inches, a handful of additional seconds — to sooth a forehead, to fight with a doctor, to be transparent and true once more?
It’s up to each of us to feel out to the edges of our Selves and determine what we need in this hour, this day — and especially, to notice how quickly some rest, some breath, can bring us back to a stronger place.
I was feeling at the numb end of the spectrum last week — depleted and stymied by politics and the many and sudden tragedies being experienced by family and friends — when my husband surprised me with tickets to Cirque de Soleil’s traveling show, Luiza. Right before the intermission, they brought out a cavalcade of art so rich, it overwhelmed me. As the fountains poured down, and the great wings flapped, and the figurines processed, I began to sob. Not just get teary. Sob.
I learned later, that during the show, we had bombed Syria.
Now my point here is not that the bombing was correct or incorrect. Only that it happened. That suffering and it’s responses were (and are) happening to my far-flung human siblings in TREMENDOUS scale.
And so was this beauty. TREMENDOUS beauty.
Both so large I can hardly comprehend.
This much sorrow. This much glory.
This is the world we live in friends. Now. Then. Always. It is the human state. It is our undesired reality. Magic, Mayhem. Joy, Suffering. Beauty, Terror. All in the selfsame minute. All in the selfsame breath.
I think, in these times of brutal, heart wrenching awareness, our call is to be achingly present. To know that being present to truth will never kill us. To know that we are able to live in both beauty and terror. To acknowledge both. To bear witness.
Without witness, without acknowledgement — how can we act? The first act is to accept the truths before us.
Terror. Beauty. Both.
My blessing for you today, dear friends, is this…
May you live on the edge of your capacity.
Yes, right on the sharp, cutting blade.
May you know your steel-forged strength.
May you know the bruised-earth places,
the disrupted and turned over soil
where seeds might grow.
May you stretch, and reach and extend
just a bit more with each new learning.
And may you find the ever shifting Place,
in your very body,
where terror and beauty may witness each other
in the the strange truce
With Fire and Warmth,
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