i listened to the broadcast from under a quilted blanket.
the screen was doing-me-in. i was dizzy and nauseated…BEFORE the polls had closed.
i’m simply not subjected to it. to what’s-out-there….to the newsfeed…to the ads….to the packaging…to the noise
i am outside. many degrees of separation. i scroll and occasionally click. i attempt to be aware of and balance my clicking…but i tilt. i certainly tilt.
some stories i follow closely (like the Somali pirates) and some i tune-out completely (anything involving a Hollywood celebrity). many though, play on a quiet loop in the periphery.
and once in a while, the reality of out-there guts me.
and i’m compelled to take action. which is often a private act of intention and meditation.
Deep Woods was packing for a turkey hunting trip. it was quiet-time so i was out in the Chalet getting my time in before he was gone for a week and i was home, alone, in the mud-season with a 9-month old and a not-quite-2 year old.
i read the headline. i clicked. and i was terrified. it was the Boston Marathon of 2013. after i caught my breath, i went inside the cabin to see if DW had seen it. He had not. He clicked. his breath was taken away too (he was a marathoner). and then he gathered up his things, kissed me on the head, and said good-bye.
and i was left a piece of worthless lead. my affect plummeted and i was on-my-own.
once i could get my legs to work, i paced and paced. i knew i needed to take action or i would fail at parenting that week. i needed to “work through it”. what could i possibly do from my position in the universe at that moment.
i chose sun salutations. 286 of them. i had to do them before DW got back.
each one was deliberate. each one was intentional. each one was as perfect as i was capable of practicing. each one was an offering. each one was healing.
in the summer of 2015, DW was in the thick-of-it at summer camp. I was on my own again, now with a 4 and a 2 year old, and now further still from other people.
again, it flashed across my screen. again, it knocked me off my feet. again, i paced and paced and paced. Charleston? Charleston? Didn’t seem like it could possibly be true. 9 victims…an entire country of victims. i knew i must honor them. i knew it would have to be more personal. more intentional. more challenging.
i chose writing. an article for each victim. i will submit 9 articles to 9 publications.
it’s been 18 months, i have not submitted one yet. i think of it often. i’ve written a bit too. submitting has been the hang-up. but i will. because i said i would to honor the victims in Charleston.
it happened again this week. when i got out of bed on Wednesday morning, i felt like i had sandbags on my hands and feet. i wanted to plunk down on the couch and drink bloody marys and eat potato chips. i was sad. not sad that Hillary didn’t win. but sad that WE elected that guy to represent us as a nation. sad that decency and civility and decorum are currently in the minority. sad at the national division. sad about the ridiculous noise. the non-stop obscene and obnoxious clatter…
and DW was unsympathetic. he loaded the kids in the truck, kissed me on the head, and said “have a good yoga class”!
i have to teach yoga in three hours!
i know there will be some people in class who are mourning and i know there are some people who are thrilled. how in the world do i penetrate that? how do i create space for that this soon…when it is so freshly undigested?
i paced again. this time up the hills into the sunshine (i am no longer tethered by toddlers).
teach the teachings. teach the teachings. teach the teachings…
by the time i returned to my house, i was ready for class.
i did not mention the election. not a word.
i mentioned purusha. i mentioned the smokeless flame, the size of a thumb, that resides in the cave of your heart. i mentioned it represents your unmanifested self. your truth. your brilliance. your divinity.
i did not mention where exactly to place your foot, or where to begin and end your breath.
i mentioned bringing your awareness to your heart center. i mentioned breathing deeply and creating space in all directions to optimize your radiance.
i mentioned the power in connecting to your flame.
i mentioned all beings have flames.
i mentioned bringing awareness to the light that shines in every.single.body.
and receiving it. and honoring it. and valuing it.
it was intentional, and it was a meditation, and it is was my focus in the initial hours.
it helped me.
i don’t know how many victims there are from this decision. but i felt awfuler-than-horrible for all the Americans who woke up in legitimate fear on Wednesday morning.
this little light of mine…i’m gonna let it shine…from the edge of the wilderness, miles down a dirt road, outside of a town of 1,000, in a red-state of less than 500,000.
and I’m gonna receive all.the.other.peoples too.
receive it and bow to it.
to our shared divinity.
to the part that cannot be American or any-thing-else. it cannot be black or white. it cannot be male or female. it cannot be pro-life or pro-choice….
it can only shine. a smokeless flame. the size of your thumb. residing deeply in the cave of your heart.