Where the rubber meets the road

Can we talk about how hard April has been? Really hard. You would think I’d be prepared, knowing it’s the cruellest month and all. But nope.

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There has been an endless onslaught of bad news for people I care about. Tragedy, loss, injustice. One after another. (I need to close my FB feed for real.) It’s all knocked me down more than I expected. I’ve been feeling old grief wounds surface. I’ve been emotional-eating chocolate. And if I’m totally honest, I have to admit I’ve been wallowing in it a bit.

It is ok, we all need to wallow sometimes. But I decided this morning that I was done wallowing. I am not powerless (though I often feel powerless). I am not a victim of life. (Though I sometimes want to pout and believe I am.)  I am a co-creator of life. I am a participant and I don’t believe bad things happen because we are bad. I believe that nature has its rhythms and cycles and we are not immune to them. The baby tree that is knocked over in a hurricane doesn’t take it personally. The exploding ant that blows itself up to save its village doesn’t take it personally. (Um, maybe he should though??)

This is not to minimize the grief and despair we go through with major losses, pain or hurt. But the difference is that for me this past month, I wasn’t the actual victim of all the horrible stuff that went down. That doesn’t mean I don’t have empathy. (Oh Lord I do.) BUT pointing to the parade of tragedies as proof that life is awful and I’m doomed probably isn’t helpful either.

On this blog I like to talk a lot about how surrender, grace, gratitude and art/writing has helped me to release and transmute pain. Now the rubber is meeting the road, so to speak. I need to walk my walk and not just talk my talk.

For me it means I had to get outside into nature. (It always, always heals me.) I took a long walk, like many of the walks I took when I was deep in grief, and I started talking out loud to the oaks (and my beagles), asking for help to release and also recounting all I’m grateful for. Wouldn’t you know it but about a minute into this a mourning dove flew and landed about ten feet away. And then a mockingbird (another bird of meaning for me) landed on a branch and stared deeply into my eyes. Well, then I lost it, crying/laughing because yes. Ask and you will receive. Ask for help and you will be met with love. I walked for a while longer and felt so much better. I also started hearing the words I had to write today — a sure sign that I needed to sit down and write as well.

So here I am. The crazy-lady-who-talks-to-trees-and-birds-and-writes-about-it. And feels infinitely better. I’m going to keep showing up when it is hard and doing what I need to do. I’m going to be the best beacon of light I can when others are having hard times, (but I know that requires me to take care of my own baggage when needed). I’m going to go gentle with myself. I’m going to go gentle with others.

(And I’m also going to remind myself that April is thankfully over in EIGHT SHORT DAYS!)

 

 

I hereby surrender

I hereby surrender:

To the unknown (and to knowing I never had control to begin with);

To acknowledging that some things our heart desires cannot be forced or cajoled

that everything I’ve received and will receive is a gift.

I hereby turn over my worries, fears, anxieties, disappointments and “what ifs” to the divine mother to hold.

I hereby surrender and accept my current reality as it stands–in its messy glory, its ecstatic uncertainty.

Recognizing full well I may not get the outcome I desire–for I may get something wiser.

 

Don’t give up. Peter Gabriel is here to hug you.

This week has been intense. INTENSE. I keep using that word because nothing else quite describes it. It hasn’t been bad necessarily, but it seems like each day once I catch my breath another fire pops up that I need to put out. Phew.  I’m just riding the waves and hoping they calm soon.

And well, the external world has been pretty hard to manage too. Heart-wrenching in fact. Too much unnecessary loss of life. Injustices. Despair. And often the cries from entire communities that seem over and over again to fall on deaf ears.

I was feeling pretty down and hopeless. And that is when I heard it.

A quiet whisper. A song actually.

Out of nowhere on Wednesday a song lyric popped in my head. Don’t give up. And a female vocal. I couldn’t place it and it was driving me NUTS. I finally figured it out–I was hearing “Don’t Give up” by Peter Gabriel, and it was the vocal by Kate Bush that was sweetly singing in my ear…her voice is ethereal.

I listened to it on Youtube and I can hardly contain myself. I was like, I GOTTA BLOG ABOUT THIS SONG. First because it is a freaking awesome song and maybe I’m not the only one who needs to hear it this week. But mostly: THE VIDEO YOU GUYS. Oh my god. It is five and half minutes (!!) of Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush hugging.

Yes, you read that correctly. A looooooong hug.  While singing. Hugging–and singing–it out for five minutes straight. It is nothing short of amazing. (Ok and hilarious. Mostly hilarious.)

How can anyone feel bleak and hopeless after watching and listening to this? YOU ARE WELCOME. 

Hugs (long, Peter Gabriel hugs),

Sarah

xoxo