Yesterday evening I took a break from breaking news. (not news at all really, more like a collective zoom-based anxiety rave bent on driving us all insane as we wait, feigning a patience we do not feel.) In the darkness, (’tis the season, what with the time change) Charlie and I ambled quietly up the drive after her evening meal.
“Ciúin” (Irish for ‘quiet’)
It was quiet, but for a couple of owls hooting to one another in the trees.
Any bit of true quiet feels like a miracle these days, noise of current events occupying mind and even heart of late. I find my little doses of quiet in these small moments – an evening meander with the dog, a morning wander around the village to put the moon to bed. I’ve come to treasure these times.
Why I Wake Early
Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and crotchety–
best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light–
good morning, good morning, good morning.
Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.
~Mary OliverFriends, it’s okay to say Hello.It will likely help us, and we do not do so alone. I also believe God greets us as we greet our days.Neither I nor the poets I love have found the keys to the kingdom of prayer,And we cannot force God to stumble over us where we sit,But.I know that it’s a good idea to sit anyway.So every morning, I sit, I kneel, waiting,making friends with the habit of listening,hoping that I am being listened to. . .There, I greet God and my own disorder.I say Helloto my chaos,my unmade decisions,my unmade bed,my desire and my trouble.I say Helloto distraction and privilege.I recognize and greetmy burdens,my luck,my controlled and uncontrollable story.I greetmy untold stories,my unfolding story,my unloved body,my own love,my own body.I greetthe things I think will happen,and I say Hello to everything I do not know about the day.I greetmy own small world,and I hope that I can meet the bigger world that day.I greetmy story,and hope that I can forget my story during the day,and hope that I can hear some stories,and greet some surprising stories during the long day ahead.I greet God,and I greet the God Who is More God than the God I greet,Hello to you all, I say,as the sun rises above the chimneys of North Belfast.Hello.~Pádraig Ó Tuama
It was a hopeful day. A day of feeling like, no matter the outcome, I was doing my part (and had been for much of this election cycle, I should tell you).
One of my shifts happened to coincide with pick-up day at a local food pantry held at the same location as this particular voting precinct. It was very interesting to me that the very outcome of this election would hold sway on whether people would or would not have to rely on community support merely to have food to eat. One woman, both voting AND picking up food, said she relies on the food pantry because between food and her prescription medicines, she has to choose the medicines. My heart broke. Another lovely fella stopped in, also to vote as well as to pick up supplies. He had a large roller bag suitcase with him to carry what he needed. He had recently become homeless.
I offered him a donut.
When my sister and I were kids and my mom was a newly divorced single mom struggling to make ends meet, we were, for a time, on food stamps. I was young and don’t remember too much about the specifics but I tell you this as a snapshot of explanation for my left-leaning, take care of folks when they can’t take care of themselves, kindness-driven view on government. People struggle. This is a great truth of humanity.
Life is short, though I keep this from my children.Life is short, and I’ve shortened minein a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,a thousand deliciously ill-advised waysI’ll keep from my children. The world is at leastfifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservativeestimate, though I keep this from my children.For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,sunk in a lake. Life is short and the worldis at least half terrible, and for every kindstranger, there is one who would break you,though I keep this from my children. I am tryingto sell them the world. Any decent realtor,walking you through a real shithole, chirps onabout good bones: This place could be beautiful,right? You could make this place beautiful.~Maggie Smith
I’d be lying if I said I was thrilled about the outcome of this election over all. I had hoped that more people would see through the chaos of the last four years and would see that the Grand Old Party is simply not there for the regular citizen of the good ol’ U. S. of A. Instead, I am disappointed that nearly half the country is willing to witness an experience another Trump term. This is where we stand. In all likelihood, we will see a Biden presidency presiding over a minority rule. It’s not a total loss, of course it’s not. There is much to celebrate!
How to move forward? A big issue for me is climate change and I am figuring out how to be of service to bring this concept into the collective light more fully. After all, these changes will affect EVERYTHING in the very near future, in fact have already begun to do so. We have a lot of work to do.
But first, for now, should things play out as they seem to be headed…..
We take a deep breath. We drink medicinal teas complete with tinctures (and possibly some bourbon this evening) to ease our anxieties. We shed some long over due stress tears. We listen with hope to someone who might be able to provide unity in our divided land. Democrats should waste no time in appointing Stacey Abrams as their new leader to forge a new path – a path that speaks for everyone. We as a country must learn to slow down and really see each other, person to person. We must do some difficult soul searching and come to a reckoning with ourselves and with one another. It is my hope we get this opportunity.
But, like so many – around the world even – I wait.
Just be quiet and patient.Let evil and unpleasantness pass quietly over you.Do not try to avoid them.On the contrary, observe them carefully.Let active understanding take the place of reflex irritation, and you will grow out of your trouble. People can achieve greatness only by surmounting their own littleness.The main thing is not to hurry.Nothing good gets away.Patience is the master key to every situation.One must have sympathy for everything, surrender to everything, but at the same time remain patient and forbearing…There is no such thing as bending or breaking.It’s a question only of overcoming, which begins with overcoming oneself.That cannot be avoided.To abandon that path is always to break in pieces.One must patiently accept everything and let it grow within oneself.The barriers of the fear-ridden can only be broken by love.One must, in the dead leaves that rustle around one, already see the young fresh green of spring, compose oneself in patience, and wait.Patience is the only true foundation on which to make one’s dreams come true.— Franz Kafka