Wowza, folks. It’s been a while since I’ve seen you on a Wednesday.
I’ve been getting jerked around by The Universe. I’ve been getting pulled down by life’s undertow. I’ve been hurting and sweaty and inconvenienced and grief stricken.
It ain’t just me. Every time I read a selection of posts from Facebook or Reddit I am awed by the absolute chaos in the world.
Yesterday, Anne Lamott, a writer I admire, made one of her lovely narrative posts on Facebook. Here’s an excerpt:
The last two weeks have been about as grim and hopeless as any of us can remember, and yet, I have not gotten out the lobster bib and fork. The drunken Russian separatists in Ukraine with their refrigerated train cars? I mean, come on. Vonnegut could not have thought this up. Dead children children on beaches, and markets, at play, in the holy land?? Stop. […]
I have long since weeded out people who might respond to my condition by saying cheerfully, “God’s got a perfect plan.” Really? Thank you! How fun.
There is no one left in my circle who would dare say, brightly, “Let Go and Let God,” because they know I would come after them with a fork.
It’s not that I don’t trust God or grace or good orderly direction anymore. I do, more than ever. I trust in divine intelligence, in love energy, more than ever, no matter what things look like, or how long they take. It’s just that right now cute little platitudes are not helpful.
Seriously, I often space out at long Facebook posts. But at this one, I shouted YES! like Sally in the diner in When Harry Met Sally.
Thank [_____________] I Am Not The Only One!
Here’re the things: Neil DeGrasse Tyson has explained to me about the Earth’s many cycles, catastrophic extinctions, and rebirths. These are a feature of the ebb and flow of energy, transference, science, life. The world is small now: I am upset about Gaza because I read about it on the internet.
My FRIENDS are in crisis. People I know personally and peripherally are having a Really Hard Time.
I write and feel and run through it (though I have been a shit runner this past week. I am getting back to it on Friday. Swears).
But I feel like I am going liquid and slipping through the wide grip of the energetic cycle. I feel like the world is ending. My chest is tight and heavy. My computer’s battery is broken, so is my phone’s. I lack joy.
Look. I hate to be so miserable. I have so much to be grateful for. Two job interviews in the next couple of weeks, for my dream job: teaching writing at the college level. Progress. Safety. A home, a healthy child, my own wellness, a supportive domestic partner, an internship that promises to be challenging and enriching and provide more opportunities to make ends meet with my best skill. I am sincerely not miserable for myself. Today is Child’s birthday. She’s made it to 9 years of age. She is an excellent human. I am proud to be her mom.
I am miserable for the fact that there are a handful of rich people in this country and hundreds of thousands of children who don’t get three squares a day. That there are >1 million non white people in jail for non-violent drug-related offenses. That we live in a world where one country will slaughter another country’s children over a land war of dubious origin. That people can’t get it (when Fox News is getting all self-righteous) that the percentage of tax dollars that benefit the “lazy” welfare class is insignificant when compared to the percentage of tax dollars that propagate, perpetuate, and eventuate wars, slaughter of thousands of people, fund anonymous bombings, Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Walmart.
Anne Lamott closes her long status post with this:
I take care of my own. You are my own, and I am yours–I think this is what God is saying, or trying to, over the din. We are each other’s. Thee are many forms of thirst, many kinds of water.
So I implore you these two things, even though the whole Western God thing freaks me out a little:
If you have a spare two dollars, give them to one of these two families (or both if you have $4 or more!):
The Hlushaks who have too much income (with the mother’s disability and the father’s low full-time salary) to receive subsidized benefits, but not enough to fund the treatment of their autistic kid (and pay for their housing).
The vanDjiks who lost their home and two of their children to a fire a couple of weeks ago.