Rage, Resilience, and Gratitude

Accidental selfie among some things that bring me joy.

Gratitude:

  1. Pholiota limonella, the brilliant orange mushrooms that grow on my stump in late fall. And the oysters that join them.
  2. The holy angle of autumn sun
  3. Sycamore and maple
  4. Reminders to Love
  5. That mortifying and stressful situation was only a dream. I could wake up and it isn’t real.
  6. How when one person offers/allows tears, it’s a communion all can share.

May we walk in Justice, in Mercy, in Humility, in Beauty!


The verdict. Like so many before. Rage. Sadness. Weariness. Resignation. Some thoughts:

  1. If Black and Brown folks say it is about race, then the rest of us need to shut up and listen instead of arguing.
  2. I think a boy who carries a gun into a crowd, and then shoots people, whether he was out to kill or whether he thought he was shooting in self-defense, ought to be held accountable.
  3. And so should his parents.
  4. And so should the self-styled militia he thought he was joining.
  5. And so should the culture that seems to think it is acceptable for a boy to carry an AR-15 into a crowd.
  6. Police officers are trained in the use of guns and they make mistakes, as we so often see, so why would anyone think an untrained angry 17-year-old should be in that place with a gun?
  7. If I’m directing my rage at this boy, I think it’s displaced. This is the result of a culture enamored of guns. And a system rigged in favor of white people, a system which tries to camouflage white male rage as protection, as self-defense.

I realize that stress has caught up to me again, and I am struggling to be resilient. Here’s how I know: The sound kicked out on my computer-to-projector during class this week, and I got furious. Furious and whiny. Not with a human, but with my computer. There was no space between the realization and the rage.

My car broke down, and immediately I began to catalog all the terrible things that had been happening to me. Like an anti-gratitude list. And it took me until I was halfway through the day to stop and think about the fact that we broke down almost at my friend’s house, and he was working from home that day and could lend me his car for the carpool. How miraculous was that!?!

The little things were starting to get to me. I didn’t (don’t?) have the reserves of grace to weather the bumps. Like an old car that rattles across a pothole and gives up the ghost, my soul hasn’t had the bounce, the shock absorbers, to carry on. At least not without a growling sound coming from the engine.

Here’s the happy bit, however: Simply admitting it has helped. The bounce is returning, with the simple acknowledgement that it was missing. Instead of cataloguing my griefs and woes and troubles, I’m back to cataloguing gratitudes. And it helps. I’m bouncing again.


“Oh to meet, however briefly, the greatness that lives under our surface. To summon enough bravery to be without armour and strategy, for the chance at meeting that irreducible power. Oh to make of our terrified hearts a prayer of surrender to the God of Love; that we remain safe in our quivering ache to be near that Otherness, even for a moment. To touch that ancient life who will never relinquish its wilderness, who lets instinct make its choices, whose knowing lives in bones and whose song is a wayfinder.” ―Dreamwork with Toko-pa


“The deeper our faith, the more doubt we must endure; the deeper our hope, the more prone we are to despair; the deeper our love, the more pain its loss will bring: these are a few of the paradoxes we must hold as human beings. If we refuse to hold them in the hopes of living without doubt, despair, and pain, we also find ourselves living without faith, hope, and love.”
―Parker J. Palmer


“November always seemed to me the Norway of the year.”
―Emily Dickinson


“One of my favourite teachings by Martín Prechtel is that ‘violence is an inability with grief.’ In other words, it takes skillfulness to grieve well, to grieve wholeheartedly. It requires us to bravely, nakedly come to face all that is lost, keeping our hearts open to loving just as fully again.
“When we make war, lashing out in rage and revenge, it is because we are unwilling to make this full encounter with grief. It is easy to enact the same violence which has taken so much from us―including towards ourselves―but the greater work is to let that which is missing enlarge your life; to make beauty from your brokenness.
“Whatever you hold in the cauldron of your intention is your offering to the divine. The quality of assistance you can generate and receive from the Holy is governed by the quality of your inner offering. When you indulge in fear and doubt, you are flooding the arena where love is attempting to work.” ―Dreamwork with Toko-pa


“Our true home is in the present moment.
To live in the present moment is a miracle.
The miracle is not to walk on water.
The miracle is to walk on the green Earth
in the present moment.”
―Thich Nhat Hanh


“An Awake Heart
is like a Sky that Pours Light.” ―Hafiz


“Gather the dawn and wind.
Breathe in sun and frost and song.
Hold for a moment.
Breathe out birds and words and joy.
Breathe out moss and stones and hope.”
―Beth Weaver-Kreider


“. . .fairies’ gold, they say, is like love or knowledge–or a good story. It’s most valuable when it’s shared.” Heather Forest, The Woman Who Flummoxed the Fairies.


For a day, just for one day,
Talk about that which disturbs no one
And bring some peace into your beautiful eyes.
―Hafiz

2 thoughts on “Rage, Resilience, and Gratitude

  1. Nothing is promised. So, nothing but gratitude.

    Been a very quiet few years for me. My species frightens and exasperates me. The negative noise is constant. I have ditched social media which has helped my psyche immensely. The moments have slowed down and am enjoying them. Sitting, breathing, sending out hope.

    I hope that your moments continue to mellow. Keep on keepin on, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

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