This past week has been a test that I kept failing. I tried reminding myself of the fable of the farmer that I wrote about several weeks ago:
When wild horses arrived at his farm and stayed, his neighbors congratulated him on his good fortune to which he replied, "Maybe yes, maybe no." When his son broke a leg trying to tame one of the horses the neighbors consoled him on his bad fortune. The farmer said, "Maybe yes, maybe no." The emperor's army came to the village and conscripted all able-bodied young men, by-passing the infirm son, and the neighbors said the man was so lucky, and to which he responded, again, "Maybe yes, maybe no."
I tried to take solace from the wisdom that we cannot predict with any confidence what tomorrow will bring. But I failed to convince myself because actions speak louder than words, and I've seen so much hateful, oppressive action this past year that was even louder than the threatening, intimidating words that inspired it.
I have reminded myself this too shall pass. I have practiced metta, wishing goodwill and loving-kindness to myself, my friends, my enemies. And I have tried to breathe.
I resolved to be the change I want to see in the world. And I cried because I felt as if the world is so much bigger than me. I turned to the words of Thich Nhat Hanh, Martin Luther King, Jr., Ta-Nehisi Coates, Mary Oliver, Pope Francis, C.S. Lewis, St. Martin de Porres. And I cried again.
I felt fear at the sudden vacuum that sucked all the air out of our national room and even more fear at the vacuous emptiness now at our helm. I thought I could not breathe. But I remembered that the fear will pass. It always passes. Everything passes. And, I began to settle myself. And I felt myself breathe.
There is a chasmic crack in the system now. It may have only been a matter of time really; regardless, the time is now and we all have to step into it. I am breathing. I am hopeful. I am ready.
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.