Up and Down, Up and Down
How are you? When people ask me, sometimes I just move my hand in front of me like a cartoon sea serpent that’s swimming along in heavy seas. Probably like you, I go up and down, and at the same time, I find myself laughing often amid this incredible experience we’re all having together.
Laughing has been really important at our house lately. Especially this past month when the stories in the news all seem to indicate that the most deranged characters from an Elmore Leonard novel are running loose in the land. At one point I was so frustrated, angry, and frankly, scared, that one afternoon I impulsively I joined a Zoom phone bank. With our microphones muted each attendee called Senators offices to tell them what we thought about the pending vote to confirm a Supreme Court Justice. (It turns out that Mitt Romney’s young staffers are really polite. And there’s not even a way to leave Lindsey Graham’s office a voicemail message.)
One especially tough day I was so livid that I also signed up to be a Vote Protector with Democracy NC. If the Proud Boys were going to march around polling places with their stupid guns they were going to have to march past me in my yellow shirt. Over time I simmered down and my more mature self once again took charge. Which is good because bravado in the moment is one thing. And figuring out what you love the most, and taking your love and commitment out with you to support and nurture it in the world is entirely another.
For me this month so often has been more like spiritual boot camp than a spiritual journey. I’m willing, and glad to do it. And it’s exhausting. How about you? What helps you maintain your spiritual energy and stay on course? Laughter is good. So is exercise, good food, sleep, science shows on PBS, funny video messages from little kids, and taking my righteous anger on a protest walk organized by Durham CAN. Music helps me dance out the pain, and an art journal is space for feelings to flow in ink and color.
I hope in all the wild ups and downs of this intense time you’re in touch with what you love and care about the most. And that you have good things in your life, and good practices, that support you as you tend to these precious things.