Yes. We are all going to die.
What happens in you when you read those words? Take a moment. Yes, right now. Take a moment right now to notice how the sentence lands in your body, in your heart. Where does your mind go? How does it actually make you feel?
This is, perhaps, one of the only real truths in this world. Yet, somehow, I am just beginning to turn toward my own death in an honest way. My mortality has been some sort of an implicit companion throughout my life: an entity I know is present but that I rarely really acknowledge or honor. It appears that now is a good moment to do that. And it would seem a very apt time in the story of our planet and our species to do the same on a collective level.
Continue reading We’re All Going to Die
I probably haven’t told you that I’m taking clown classes. Well, they’re not really classes, it’s more like a practice space where we get to know our inner clowns better. All of us have clowns within and I’ve seen how mine has so much to teach me! In one of our sessions we played with natural objects like dried flowers, bark and plants. We worked in pairs: one person pretended to be the object and as their clown partner interacted (sometimes in rude and curious ways) with the leaves or flowers, we imagined that our bodies were being manipulated in the same way. My natural object was a little succulent in an oversized coffee cup. It’s a fragile little guy and as I moved and touched it, many of its little leaf-nubs fell to the floor. Even wearing the hat and red nose of my curmudgeon clown, I soon found it impossible to be present in the exercise; I was obsessed with picking up the fallen pieces of the plant. It was unimaginable for me to leave that mess on the floor; even though, obviously, I could have cleaned it up later.
Continue reading Don’t Make Waves: Disappointment and Discomfort
Hope has always been a ubiquitous and elusive character on the inner stage of my life. I admit that mostly, I’ve been quite skeptical of her. Over these past fifteen years, I’ve adopted a vaguely Buddhist view that hope is a form attachment to a certain preferred future; fear’s undeniable and constant companion. It is said that we fear that which we believe will cause us pain, and hope for that which we believe will bring us pleasure. Yet my recent life experience shows it’s not quite that straightforward. This skepticism has been punctuated by momentary glimpses of other ways of relating to or defining hope: the way it has kept so many peoples alive through devastating circumstances of inter-generational trauma and systemic oppression; the occasional definition of hope which unhooks it from the attachment to a particular outcome;* during the time in the months after Rafael died and I had to figure out new ways forward; when we conceived Ramona and I felt hope dart in, briefly.
Continue reading Coming to the Edge of Hope… Month after Month