December 8, 2021

How to Stay Awake when the World Dims our Flame.

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“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

There are some days when it feels like my light flickers and I don’t have the energy to do what needs to be done (but I do it anyway).

There are some days when I just want to huddle under the covers until I feel like getting up.

There are some days when I just want to be mindless rather than mind-full, overflowing with responsibilities and expectations.

There are some days when I want to go within and honor my introspective introvert.

There are some days when I want to put down the weight of the world that I hoisted on my shoulders, but I don’t because I still want to be the “go-to” person.

There are some days when I want to stop second-guessing and just go for what I want, without focusing on how it will unfold.

There are some days when I don’t want to live by checklists, but rather, meander from one moment to the next, trusting that what needs to be accomplished will be.

There are some days when I want to hibernate the chattering monkey mind that tells me what should be and what might never be.

There are some days when I want to sob and wail for the pain of the world and then pick up the tools needed to repair it. And there is so much that needs the touch of Tikkun Olam.

Let’s light each other’s flames, shall we?

Over the past several years (more often since the upheaval caused by the former president while in office and in the nearly one year since he left the White House, albeit unwillingly), I have felt a sense of despair. It has seemed hopeless at times, as if there is nothing I can do to affect the kind of change necessary to leave the world the way I want it to be.

I know I am not in it alone and I am surrounded by stalwarts who have the same goals as I do. Call it resistance fatigue by which I am exhausted emotionally and physically from letter writing, petitioning signing, representative calling and texting, watching and listening to CNN, MSNBC, and NPR where the stories are “rinse and repeat,” and showing up at rallies, vigils, and peaceful protests.

What we do feels purposeful and not virtue signaling as we walk the talk. It is what I have heard referred to as holy discontent, by which we are moved to take action by that inner stirring that won’t be silenced.

There are some days when I have hope that something will occur t0 bring people together once and for all. Sadly, the human race has needed a shake up/wake up for as long as it has existed, and the events that prompted necessary change have always been negative.

While I was relieved and grateful for the verdict in the case of the three men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery, I feel deeply saddened and angry that it happened in the first place and that had the video not come to light, it would have remained in the shadows and the murderers would still walk free. The hatred that some hold in their hearts is a disease as deadly and pervasive as COVID-19. This was a multi-generational family crime. I question how we will ever survive as a species if we poison our children with hatred.

When I listened to the words of Arbery’s family, I was reminded of a song performed by David Roth and Anne Hills called “That Kind of Grace.” It tells the tale of two parents whose children were murdered as a result of racism, bigotry, and hatred.

“When I sing Amazing Grace
Your face is all I see
I hope someday that kind of grace
Will find its way to me.”

My soul asks, “What do you want?” My mind responds, “I want to sleep until the world wakes up and realizes that we need to live together, since we breathe the same air and drink the same water.”

My heart smiles and reminds me, “You are on the wake-up crew.” Sigh…

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