But the good news is, they can't either. Not on our watch.
And yes, this is about reaction and action, but the work we don't necessarily want to do (because, at the very least, it's unpleasant and frightening), is to put on our Indiana Jones hats and infiltrate as objective observers.
It's that 'objective' bit that hangs us up, I know. But, I think, it's about assessing without emotion first. In order really to see what the opposition is reacting to, we've got to kick central casting out of our brains. Then and only then do we have any hope of real, lasting, *educating* change.
Yes, yes, absolutely petition those who represent us, who are supposed to represent us, march, show up--do that work. Do that work now. But after that work, do a little digging. We can only change minds through two things: listening and releasing (real or imagined) fear (we call this, by the way, education).
This is the hard work of action, following reaction...
Just think about it for a second. What if, whenever you came into contact with someone today--friend or stranger--you paused, really looked at each other, and then either said (or didn't say), the simplest, kindest, most transparently honest thing warranted by the situation? What if we really meant it when we asked how another was? And if we didn't care to ask? We just remain silent, taking a moment to acknowledge this human's right to be here.
Just think--no more games, no more omissions, no more gilded truths, just honest congratulations, honest joy, honest sorrow, honest envy, honest grief. What if we shared these moments with each other? Or, if not, what if we just shared them with ourselves? What if we called a joy a joy, and a kick-in-the-pants-bummer a bummer.
Maybe it's not okay. Maybe it is. How do we know until we just sit for a minute--no technology, no distractions, no flashing lights or sound clips, no headlines, ideologies, or assumptions.
I think, when we remember, we can focus our days before even getting out of bed in the morning.
It's like this: I have a favorite setting on my super-fancy camera that allows me to focus on a tiny detail in the foreground, putting the rest of the frame in telescopic softness. I love that. I love that so much that sometimes I just sit for minutes at a time, focusing on different details, washing out others, and watching how that shifts my entire feeling about the landscape featured in the viewfinder.
We can do that with our days, too. You can tune ourselves to focus on compassion or love, if you have the brain for it. Or for shiny objects and light if, like me, you can't keep a concept in focus. This isn't avoidance or head-in-the-sand mentality. All that stuff is still there, but have you noticed how much we focus on negatives to *the detriment* of what is good and light and strong?
On the contrary--this is good armor. And, at least for me, suiting up is becoming more and more nec...
Landscape is something we're born with, like blood type, like DNA. Maybe it's the common denominator of salt, I don't know. But I do know we can long for a landscape which we've never visited. And I also know that genetic (aka magical) memory extends far beyond and behind our current lifetime, our available recollection.
No matter what, we carry that earth, that salt, that essence, that terroir with us, even if we have to roam. Even if we have to be brave. Even if we have to submit ourselves to something as inhuman as airports, air travel, and cities (no bias here...noooo, none whatsoever...).
Carry your earth with you--literally. Not only is this of immense comfort, it also puzzles the hell out of the TSA'ers. Gives them something to talk about over their well-deserved coffee break.
Farming communities are never colored entirely red, entirely blue. It's more of a sunset purple, really--progression meets tradition in a funny circle, and you end up both following and leading at any given moment.
Etiquette dictates you don't talk politics at the feed store, but no matter what your bumper stickers say, if you're stuck, I'll do my best to tow you out. When we stop helping each other, whoever your "they" is? Well, they've won.
Universally, compassionately, unconditionally, on a human-to-human level, we are stronger together.
I think, to know grace exists, you have to experience grace. Until you do, you can't disbelieve in its existence. You don't have to believe in it--the unseen--but you can't disbelieve either. So you table it, until you meet the experience one way or the other.
This experiential system of belief, even if you can't explain it--an encounter, an inspiration, a chance meeting, a dream--protects us from ideology. And, I think, right now, we could use all the protection, and all the grace, possible.
So suspend disbelief for the moment, at least when it comes to fate and grace, unseen hands, unseen forces, and the spirit of humanity. I've felt grace, I've met her, and I know she's here.
I try to go to workshops and on herb walks at Avena Botanicals as often as possible. Herbalist Deb Soule plots her gardens thoughtfully, purposely, and biodynamically. But she leaves time and room every spring to see where the wind has scattered the previous year's seeds, and where these will self-selectively grow.
I remember sitting with that for a long time--not just in a gardener's sense, or as an herbalist, but as a human animal who has been scattered far and wide over the years with the shifting of the wind. And I fought it--every time. I cursed the wind, raged at the storm all King Lear style, and generally made quite a miserable nuisance of myself.
But, really, who am I to argue with the intelligence of the wind?
So next time, we'll see. We'll see how these roots grow if I shut up and stand still for a season or two.
I wanted to write about balance because of the photo that called to me this morning. Usually that's how I work--image first, then whatever tumbles out of my brain.
I don't mean to be political, although, now that I see the Satya and, given the week that it is, I can see how it can apply. But that's as far as I'll go, overtly anyway. I'm not political or, at least, not (usually) publicly so.
That said, in *general,* I think, sometimes being thrown off balance can be a good thing. While it's happening? Oh, hells no. It sucks big time. But it sends us in a different and, so often, much-needed direction. I think it's easy to become complacent--both in our small lives and in the greater one around us. And while I think there's comfort in that, there's also danger.
Of course, it's double-edged. Some seek change, imbalance, at a constant pace, sacrificing any kind of stillness. That, too, is dangerous. Or, if not dangerous, foolhardy and risky, rife with the possibility of accidents, both to s...