Usually, Friday Five is a list with musings of five things that are rocking my poptarts. This week, I am departing from that format to write you a love letter. Things feel heavy right now, so a lighthearted post feels completely out of my personal reach. My usual format will resume next week, but for this week, let me love on you.
Maybe you have no idea what’s going on in the world right now, and that’s ok. I have some idea of what’s going on (thanks to a few resources, like WTF Just Happened Today and The NYT Morning Briefing)
It feels heavy, and what’s happened (what’s *been* happening, really) feels way beyond my own personal power to impact in any meaningful way. When I feel this way, when I feel small and helpless and overwhelmed, I spend some time in that feeling of helplessness, but then I shift focus as best as I am able, because staying in helplessness helps *no one*.
When shit gets real, and I can do nothing but despair, I light the candles. I spark up some nag champa. I get quiet, and I hone in on the *here and now* of my life. What can I do *here*? What can I do *now*? Sometimes the answer is clear. Self-care. Be present. Do something for someone close to me. Write a thing. Send money to an organization that has boots on the ground. Sometimes, the answer isn’t so clear, so I default to working on remaining embodied when my instinct is to dissociate.
Whatever I do, it’s The Work. My Work. And whatever you do, that’s your Work, too.
I’ve heard people exclaim that prayers are not enough. I understand where they are coming from, and I know that energetic workings, magic, mojo, meditation, etc. seem like limp responses in times like these, but sometimes, the spiritual work we do to get clear, to get strong means that we can carry on with the work in a more boots on the ground way. The quiet work we do at our altars, in our chapels, with our priesthood, or our oracles means we can get the clarity and calm assertive strength we need to do the tangible things that need doing in times like these.
Whatever we have the capacity and energy for, that’s what we have the capacity and energy for.
Today, I have the capacity and energy for lighting the candles, sparking the incense, taking tender care of my inner wee beastie, praying the prayers and loving my loves fiercely. You might not even have that much today, and that’s okay. You have what you have. You do what you can.
I repeat: whatever anyone else might tell you, that’s enough.
It has to be, since It’s all any of us have on any given day.
You’ve probably seen the ‘choir metaphor’ doing the rounds on social media. While it’s been falsely attributed to Micheal Moore, and even Madonna, it was actually a quote by Aimee Van Ausdall, who wrote it on her Facebook page. There’s a cool story about how this quote when viral, and you can read that here.
This morning I have been pondering a nearly forgotten lesson I learned in high school music. Sometimes in band or choir, music requires players or singers to hold a note longer than they actually can hold a note. A 4-bar low G….. a long aria. In those cases, we were taught to mindfully stagger when we took a breath so the sound appeared uninterrupted. Everyone got to breathe, and the music stayed strong and vibrant. Yesterday, I read an article that suggested the administration’s litany of bad executive orders (more expected on LGBTQ next week) is a way of giving us “protest fatigue” – we will literally lose our will to continue the fight in the face of the onslaught of negative action. Let’s remember MUSIC. Take a breath. The rest of the chorus will sing. The rest of the band will play. Rejoin so others can breathe. Together, we can sustain a very long, beautiful song for a very, very long time. You don’t have to do it all, but you must add your voice to the song. With special love to all the musicians and music teachers in my life…..#Resist
Can I get a YASSSSAH! Because yes. Because we can’t sustain our voices *forever* without taking a breath. Because we need to drop the ball once in a while, to take care of ourselves, to do the laundry, to watch crap on tv, to fling paint. We need to *live* while all of this *wavesatallofthis* is going down.
Otherwise, fear wins.
So, this is my love letter to you on this Friday, April 7, 2017. I see you, out there, doing the best you can with what you’ve got, and I see how much it stings when people thoughtlessly criticize our efforts. I see how easy it is to burn out, to shut down. I see it, and I experience it myself.
So, hello, love. Whatever you have the capacity and energy for on any given day is *enough*. It is enough.
You are enough.
My you find peace in the struggle, and bliss among the ruins.
I’ll see you next week.