Thursday, June 2, 2011

living with Joy

Each of us carry burden.  Like a jar of rocks we each have our own collection of suffering to carry with us through life.  This morning I woke, thinking about my sufferings as rocks.   I imagined holding them in my hands, and i took time to explore some of my rocks and the pain and gifts that came from them.  Most of my rocks I have had long enough that I have come to have a relationship with them.  These sufferings morph, change, become sometimes smoother, sometimes edgier.

When people get a new burden, especially a sudden unexpected burden, it shakes our human connections.  What can we do? People reach out with words, "it will get better;" "everything happens for a reason."  Some people shut down and don't reach out at all because they don't know what to say.  We are taught that somehow if we say the right words, it will make things better.

The words we look for are the translation of our hearts wanting to acknowledge the hurt. We feel the black hole of despair as deep as the love we want to express.  Sometimes there are no good words to say.  What the fuck.  There are some things that will never be okay. When my sister died and people told me it will be okay, I remember promising my sister that I would never let that be true.  There are some things so unfair that my human understanding will never offer fate or reason to those who hold such burden.  All I can do is show up. And show up some more. Wash tables, sweep floors. Share memories. Crack jokes. And hold the space for "what the fuck" to be the only thing worth saying.

When the tsunami struck I went through a series of emotions and here is what I learned.  My heart broke open for all the loss and devastation.  I wanted to be part of the solution somehow.  I thought I had only prayer to offer.  As I held the tsunami stone with the rest of the world, three things happened.  First, I heard a statistic  that in March 2011, three million people died from starvation, a quarter million died from malaria, 100,000 died from car crashes, and 28,000 died from quakes and tsunamis (it was a tweet on twitter).  Second, in one week my partner's uncle committed suicide, my friend had a cousin who was hit by a train (and survived--many broken bones), and a fb friend lost her best friend's daughter to murder.  I had two friends somewhere in the process of hospitalization to ensure their adolescent's health and safety.  I too, was on the brink of hospitalizing my own child for depression.  It put in perspective that we have a world worth having a broken heart over every single day.

I am a student of Mother Earth.  I believe that when we sit with her and use our senses to absorb her intuition, we gain information on right action.  All that brokenness, and I went outside and I saw--buds.  Springtime.  Buds of life coming into my world about to be born.  I remembered the world I wanted my children to be born into.  I wanted this season's new life to experience the joy and beauty of life on Earth.  None of the stones I was holding were my own.  I had to put them all down--my job was to show joy and hospitality to this new life in my yard, and to my world.  Because I could do that.  As Mother Earth hurts from the attacks done her, still she stands in shameless joy where ever she can.  Still she creates and still she loves. 

I am a student of Mother Earth-- today my job is to show up when I can and to celebrate moments of joy.  Taking care of myself and having access to happiness is the best thing I can do for my daughter and for all these broken parts of our world.  Let's dance and show some joy. We all need it.

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