The work right now is to become immense. We have to get our arms around immense things. Violence and hatred and bigotry and racism. And also around love and compassion and devotion and a certain fidelity to protect what is alive. We have to become immense. This is not a time to become small.
~ Francis Weller
When we lose regard for the sacred, we will consume everything. Isn’t that what we’ve done? We’ve turned everything into an object. This is a resource rather than a living system, those sacred groves. A part of our call right now is to re-sacralize, to reimagine the presence of the sacred. The deeper we go into physics, the deeper we go into biology, the deeper we go into psychology, we find at their shared root, mystery. Absolute, enduring mystery. That’s the closest I can get to what I would call the holy, to the sacred.
~ Francis Weller
I recently read an interesting interview with Francis Weller. I think I’ve mentioned him here in the past. I also think I misquoted him. The reason I think that is because I did exactly that yesterday morning while talking with a new friend. I (mis)quoted and paraphrased Mr. Weller as saying that as humans we carry grief in one hand, joy in the other, and gratitude in our hearts. This is the correct quote:
The work of the mature person is to carry grief in one hand and gratitude in the other and to be stretched large by them.
In case you might be interested, you can find the interview here: Deschooling Dialogues: On Initiation, Trauma and Ritual with Francis Weller. This led me to look for the quote I’ve been misquoting, and that led me to this: The Geography of Sorrow. Both articles are well worth your time, if you have the time. Thanks to Gita class, I (along with the cohort) have been giving a lot of thought to time, worth, and what is worthwhile. Or worth while. Both articles I linked to were worth my while, but that may not be true for you.
I was particularly intrigued by the beginning of the second interview in which Mr. Weller spoke of ascent and descent (“We experience little genuine joy in part because we avoid the depths. We are an ascension culture. We love rising, and we fear going down.”), and how we live in a “‘flat-line’ culture, where the band is narrow in terms of what we let ourselves fully feel.” I’ve found that to be true of myself. I once told a friend that I not only have trouble expressing deep grief, but also immense joy. I tend to stay somewhere in the middle which is, I believe, what Mr. Weller means by a “flat-line culture.” I have sometimes seen misunderstandings of this within the yoga and meditation culture, where balance or remaining in the center is seen or practiced as a way of not displaying deep feelings/emotions.
It makes me wonder what life would be like if we were able to fully express our sorrows and joys in the ways they are meant to be expressed. How high could we reach if we were to allow ourselves to descend into the dark when it is necessary? How much deeper could we go if we had the support needed to do so?
Sunday’s snow didn’t stay with us long. It was gone by the time the sun went down. On Monday afternoon it began to snow again, off and on. It continued to do so through Tuesday and we were gifted with another inch or two. Most of that had melted into the ground by sunset yesterday. I have so many photos of Sunday’s snowfall bonanza that I could spend the next few weeks posting them. That might be boring. We’ll see. I still have to sort through them. Very often I take more than one shot of the same scene. It’s a just-in-case kind of thing. What I find curious is that it is almost always the first shot that is the best. That brings up the question: Why don’t I trust that first shot? Or trust myself to have taken the shot I wanted the first time? A small part of my reasoning in taking more than one shot is related to the fact that it’s digital. I can take as many as I want with the big SD cards that are available now. A second small part is related to blurry photos. When I get excited, the odds are good that I will take the shot too fast and end up with blur. As for trust, perhaps that’s not a part of this process at all. The extra photos are insurance, and maybe that’s all there is to it.
Today we have sunshine and a deep blue sky. It’s breezy, but not as windy as it has been. Almost all hints of snow are gone except in the dark and shady corners where the sun never penetrates. Tomorrow we’ll be back in the 50’s (F) with rain. The roller coaster ride will continue for a while although the weather folks are saying we are going to miss out on the next blast of arctic air (arriving in places north of us on Monday). They’re not sure yet.
I haven’t written about our virus load (numbers) in a while. We are currently up to 2,268 cases with 26 deaths. Our positivity rate 7.42%, higher than the overall state positivity rate. However, there is a prison in the county and inmates are considered residents while they are incarcerated. That increases our numbers and positivity rate.
M and I started double masking a couple of weeks ago. I see that’s now the recommendation. I will probably start wearing a single mask outdoors when we’re in spaces with other people. The latest announcement from the local health department makes it clear that it is going to be a while before we can get vaccinated (unless things change drastically in terms of shipments).
As far as what we’re going through right now, we’re watching the historic trauma unfold, and the reactions to trauma, which are panic, terror, exaggerated expressions of masculinity in its grossest form. And we’re also seeing a heightened and quickened sense of compassion. People are beginning to look beyond these dualities and whether that’s gender issues or race issues. They’re beginning to see what is non-binary. What does the third way look like? What does the imagination take us into when we stop seeing it as an either/or situation? We’re seeing the ancestors of Nazis sitting down with the ancestors of the Holocaust survivors finding common ground. We’re finding the ancestors of slave-owners and the ancestors of the slaves finding common ground. That’s momentous. That’s hopeful. That binary system is beginning to create a third, a new imagining of how our mutual lives are so entangled, therefore our healing is entangled.
We have to give up the idea of private salvation and the idea of private healing. That’s all fantasy. We either heal communally or we don’t.
~ Francis Weller
That’s about it from me on the beautiful day. Thank you so much for stopping by. Let’s meet out at the Point for sunset. I wish I’d gone last night, but I was too cold and lazy. It was gorgeous, with a sun pillar on display. I watched from our backyard. Sunset this evening is scheduled for 5:30 PM. I’ll be there early so I can take a little walk before the sun slips below the watery horizon. It’s still chilly, especially by the water, so bundle up. It’s better to have the extra layers. You can always remove them if you don’t need them.
Please be safe, be well, and be kind. ♥
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 1,716) Sun pillars. You need just the right conditions for a sun pillar to appear. It’s the light reflecting off of millions of falling ice crystals. Kind of miraculous if you ask me. 1,717) Oatmeal with apples and walnuts for breakfast. For a long time, I was unable to eat oats. Recently I decided to try some of the more expensive, gluten-free, oats. And voila! Now I can eat oats again. I’m not sure why gluten-free should make a difference. I still eat bread and pasta and all that good stuff. However, I have noticed that I can’t overdo the bread or pasta or all that good stuff. 1,718) Seeing in new ways. 1,719) M, always. 1,720) Family and friends, always.