1. Truth: I’m doing the best I can. This morning it was hard to know what to do. I’d slept terribly. I felt equal parts numb and raw, and my heart hurt. I fell back on what Susan Piver (and Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche) teaches about building confidence, five things you can do. I meditated, did my writing practice, cleaned up my kitchen, put away the laundry, did my physical therapy exercises, took a shower, and made myself a good breakfast — Dave’s Bread, eggs from a friend’s chickens, Tillamook cheese, organic fruit and veggies, a tall glass of water. I felt a little bit better. It made me think of advice I’ve been given before, “do what you can where you are.”
2. Truth: Then I went to work, because I was expected, and working at a university in an English department the population is more likely to share my values, so I knew at the very least I would be among people who understood how I was feeling. Still in shock, I decided to do the only thing I knew how. I walked down the hallway, found the first door open, and hugged the person working there. It was sort of easy because she’s a longtime friend and mentor, but still. What surprised me is how my emotion was right there on the surface, hers too. As soon as we hugged, we both started crying. After talking with her a bit, I walked back towards my office and one of the people in the office across from mine was getting ready to go teach a class. We said “Hi,” and I asked her if she needed a hug. Same thing, as soon as our hearts got close to each other, we both started to cry. Even though I’d imagined roaming the halls with hugs and chocolate for everyone I found, that was all I could do, just two people. And yet, again — do what you can where you are.
3. Truth: I am treating this as a call to action. I admit, I got soft while Obama was in office. I took his presence and all the changes that came with it as progress. I thought that things were getting better. I was wrong. There is so much work to do, and I’m ready. Today I will mourn, but once the shock wears off, I’m rolling up my sleeves. For now, that means giving some money to help the protest at Standing Rock and the Prison Mindfulness Institute. It means being gentle with myself. It means being kind to everyone I see. It means reading what Rachel wrote as many times as I need to. It means lunch with a friend who gets it. This weekend it means going to the Fort Collins Standing Rock Rally & Prayer Gathering. It means doing what I can where I am.
One wish: May we be happy. May we be well. May we be safe. May we live with ease. May all of us do what we can where we are.
P.S. I wish I could give all of you a hug today, kind and gentle readers. ❤