Gratitudes, Musings

Election Angst

Gratitude of Resistance Twelve:
I’m a little discouraged this morning. Post-election angst is a real thing for me since 2016. All those people made an absolutely herculean effort to elect Jess King. She and they showed us a different way to be in this climate, and I wanted so much for her to win. Despite, or maybe because of, her opponent’s negativity and racist pandering to people’s worst fears about immigrants, he won the seat. I am grateful for her run, for the hope of a new way of doing politics that she offered.

It feels like a back door into gratitude this morning. I am deeply grateful for the thoughtfulness and civility and genuine concern for humanity shown by Jess and her crew of dogged volunteers. Grateful for all the people outside the Old Boys’ Club who were elected in this cycle. May it continue to be so.

Musings

Skyful of Crows

Yesterday as I was falling asleep, meditating on how we make the shift from incivility to kindness, I saw a sky full of crows flying across the sky of my inner eye. All of us together, Friends. Hope against hope. Believe in the Good which is to come. Be ready to Be Change. Love and joy.
 
I do not deny that I go to bed tonight full of anxiety and angst for what tomorrow brings, but there’s a boatful of hope sailing that swamp, and a vast cloud of wise souls flying that gray cloudy sky. I cast the web from me to you. Let’s weave and dream.
Gratitudes, Musings

Pathways of the Heart

Mountaintop  42068733_360534797822346_7202145227302807350_n(1)

Looking back through some of my previous blog posts, I came upon this again this morning, something that keeps leaping out at me from the past to remind me to open my throat. Today Joss is nine and Ellis is twelve. They must have been three and six at the time of this story:

This morning when we were playing with our gnomes, Joss decided that the gnome house was on fire, and he raced to get a group of gnomes to put it out. “Red! We need all the red gnomes!” Exactly–to put out a fire, it takes lots of red gnomes. Ellis chimed in, “And Minus! We need the Minus Gnome! Because a house with fire Minus the fire is just a house!”

Sometimes I sure would like to use some of Minus Gnome’s magic on me. An anxious Beth Minus anxiety is just Beth. Angst-ridden, anger-struck Beth Minus angst and anger? Beth. So that’s a nice little thing to do with meditation. Of course as soon as I began to work with the idea, it hit me again that the angers and angsts are so often born of compassion and caring, and for those I have been seeking the services of Multiplication Gnome. I need to untangle the compassion from its attendant anger at injustice, its partner anxiety at losses to those I love.

Wow. Look at those words that I wanted to get rid of: Angst, Anxiety, Anger. . .I looked them up, along with their sister Anguish. There at their root is angh-, which comes from the Indo-European language tree, and generally refers to distress of some sort. That lovely vowel–ah–cut short in the back of the throat, closed up along with all hope of breath: Angh!

Fear, shame, anger, distress: what sound emerges when you truly feel them? Angh! Choke.

But still, that lovely vowel–ah–the first we say in so many languages: Mama, Abba, Baba, Dada, Nana, Papa. The opposite of the choke, our family names, our names for the Ineffable Mystery: they release the breath in a tender sigh. Ah. There we go.

When I get really stuck in the Angh, I can dislodge that choke with a little Hahaha, a great belly laugh to force the air back through, a little spiritual CPR, so to speak. Or skip down the street with a Tra-la-la, a little song to start up the rhythm of breathing again. Or a little eureka, a bright discovery with a great Aha!

So the next time I wake up at three in the morning, suddenly filled with the dread of what is happening to this world that I have brought these light-filled children into, or choked with shame for some harshness I have spoken to their tender hearts, I think I will apply the Ah!, the Mama, the Ha! and see if that breath can be a lullaby to take my spirit back to sleep.


Gratitude List:
1. Breathing through the angh- to the aaaaaah
2. Long sleep last night
3. Re-orientation: Not getting stuck in the ruts of rage, but carrying the coals tucked in my apron to use at need
4. So many names for the Great Mystery
5. Building relationships with those who are not human: ducks, cats, trees, rivers, stones. . .

May we walk in Beauty!

Gratitudes, Poems

March Monday: The Way of Trees

I was hoping that by giving myself a few days I would have something more polished to put up here, but this one feels like it needs a lot more work.  But the Mockingbird says to put it out there anyway. 

A teenaged boy drives his loud car
through the hollow at midnight
on his way from anger to angst.
Ribbons of red sparks catch
on the thorns of the locust trees.

Golden flowers of a woman’s hope
settle into the branches
of the towering sycamore
as she sits in its shade
and speaks her story.

The poplar, too, and the walnuts,
grasp the thoughts and dreams
of people passing through,
the green streamers of a new love,
the fierce orange flames of betrayal.

At night, the trees feed our dreams
with the colors they have harvested.
In the hollow, we dream with the trees,
our sleeping stories tangled
with the strands the trees have gathered.

 

March 3 Gratitude List:

1. Sunlight sparkling through whirling snow.
2. The way shadows hold the shapes of things. the way the snow stayed in the shadow of the poplar tree on the roof while all the rest melted away in the sun.
3. The quest and the questions. Yearning for the Ineffable Mystery.
4. Sea-tumbled, egg-shaped granite.
5. Stories. Love stories, family stories, personal stories.
May we walk in beauty.

Gratitudes, Musings

From Angh to Ma

2012 November 144

This morning when we were playing with our gnomes, Joss decided that the gnome house was on fire, and he raced to get a group of gnomes to put it out.  “Red!  We need all the red gnomes!”  Exactly–to put out a fire, it takes lots of red gnomes.  Ellis chimed in, “And Minus!  We need the Minus Gnome!  Because a house with fire Minus the fire is just a house!”

Sometimes I sure would like to use some of Minus Gnome’s magic on me.  An anxious Beth Minus anxiety is just Beth.   Angst-ridden, anger-struck Beth Minus angst and anger?  Beth.  So that’s a nice little thing to do with meditation.  Of course as soon as I began to work with the idea, it hit me again that the angers and angsts are so often born of compassion and caring, and for those I have been seeking the services of Multiplication Gnome.  I need to untangle the compassion from its attendant anger at injustice, its partner anxiety at losses to those I love.

Wow.  Look at those words that I wanted to get rid of: Angst, Anxiety, Anger. . .I looked them up, along with their sister Anguish.  There at their root is angh-, which comes from the Indo-European language tree, and generally refers to distress of some sort.  That lovely vowel–ah–cut short in the back of the throat, closed up along with all hope of breath: Angh!

Fear, shame, anger, distress: what sound emerges when you truly feel them?  Angh!  Choke.

But still, that lovely vowel–ah–the first we say in so many languages: Mama, Abba, Baba, Dada, Nana, Papa.  The opposite of the choke, our family names, our names for the Ineffable Mystery: they release the breath in a tender sigh.  Ah.  There we go.

When I get really stuck in the Angh, I can dislodge that choke with a little Hahaha, a great belly laugh to force the air back through, a little spiritual CPR, so to speak.  Or skip down the street with a Tra-la-la, a little song to start up the rhythm of breathing again.  Or a little eureka, a bright discovery with a great Aha!

So the next time I wake up at three in the morning, suddenly filled with the dread of what is happening to this world that I have brought these light-filled children into, or choked with shame for some harshness I have spoken to their tender hearts, I think I will apply the Ah!, the Mama, the Ha! and see if that breath can be a lullaby to take my spirit back to sleep.

 

Gratitude List:
1.  Moving out of Angh to Ma, Aha! and Hahaha!
2.  A shining piece of quartzite, white as ice, in the field by the henhouse.
3.  The things the gnomes teach us.
4.  A swept and dusted house (partly, anyway)
5.  Love, love, love: oh, you, and you and you!
May we walk in Beauty!