Today I Will Make Bread.

I won’t worry about my grown children,
or think about why I ache when I think of them.

Today I bake. 
Inhale the frothy smell of yeast rising like magic.
Throw the dough on to the board, flour filling the air with clouds.
Wipe my hands on my apron then
put my shoulder into it,
Kneading. Kneading. Kneading. 

My mother would kiss the dough and tell me as she formed it into buns, “Like babies’ bums”.
When I close my eyes I’m in her kitchen.

The smell of baking filling the house.

And then the timer chimes and I wait like a child,
impatient for the bread to cool:
My own mother now,
my own child.

The Moon

I find writing excruciatingly difficult but it feels so good when I stop. And just having someone take the time to read something I’ve written thoughtfully is huge for me.

The idea of making enough money to live on from my writing is like comparing me, stumbling along with my bundle buggy to the grocery store, to an astronaut in a rocket shooting for the moon.

HOWEVER, I don’t think there is an astronaut who doesn’t see the same moon as I see when I am happy to sit by my window and stare at it.

A Sense of Wonder

If we really think about education and what it’s going to look like in this pandemic it helps to think about what education always is. It is instilling a sense of wonder and that happens by creating a space where this can happen, but it’s not entirely physical because learning happens within the sense of self. This “space” is not limited, it can take all sorts of shapes and forms.

This is the link to a recent TEDx talk by Dr. Lisa Dickson.

 

The Value of Letting Go

There is a difference between “JUST GET OVER IT!” and letting it go. It’s weird but one is a problem and the other is a strategy.

“Get over it!” is a very industrial revolution era type suggestion. This was a time when changes were brutal and corporal punishment was the way of the world. Any one who cared about you would caution you against any action you might take with the fire of injustice your belly.  After  all life was cheap, your life actually. Your only hope was to some how move on, get over it. This is a very toxic thing to have to do but probably not much worse than the air you had to breathe, the water you had to drink and the hunger and cold you had to endure.

“Get over it” was something I did hear often enough and young enough that I thought it had some validity. The trouble was there were too many indications that real justice could exist and maybe life wasn’t about just enduring shit. I was born in the 50’s, by the time I was an adult I didn’t believe it and  society didn’t either (although there are indications it has made some major losses in this area recently).

Next: Probably too many words about forgiveness

Forgiveness is central to the Christian faith. But so is hypocrisy and we have learned enough about that in the last century or so that the one thing that made forgiveness possible, namely faith is really hard to maintain, if not just plain crazy. When faith was strong and instead of streaming t.v. shows the only stories you had for entertainment were ones where faith conquered over the bad guys EVERY WEEK, I think people might have actually managed to believe in forgiveness. (Lets not hasten a return to the Dark Ages okay?)

I myself have never been good at forgiveness. Forgiveness arises when I am lost in the delusion that I am some sort of ENLIGHTENED SAINT floating in my PERSONAL NIRVANA. It can happen. I might believe I am actually forgiving someone until I wake up from my spiritual revelry and I find am still pissed off. That’s not to say that someone else can’t manage forgiveness*.

As for “crazy” some Christians might tell me it is my faith in science that is crazy. I’d say fair dignum.  I have actually had experience with how limited my understanding of science is and how weird my ideas are so I leave lots of room for possibility, and geez, won’t I look dumb on judgement day!**

But for most people Christianity just isn’t the Kool-aid that makes forgiveness possible any more, myself included.

So Finally “Letting It Go”

The advantage of Letting it Go is two fold. It doesn’t negate the injury you have suffered AND it doesn’t lead to you thinking you have a right to do something equally heinous to the person or persons who made you suffer.

Letting it go requires practice. All of the people who seemed to have the skill for moving past personal injury to address injustice had to work at it. So whatever it is you need to do to let go of the pain, you need to do it over and over. And OVER.

Every time the congealing of space around a thought or feeling arises come back to the breath, wiggle your toes and do your zen practice. You will eventually see this dense emotional state get thinner and more transparent and less of an affliction. It doesn’t mean you will lose your motivation to address injustice, but you won’t be suffering and communicating from a point of anger. Whether you call that “True Nature” or whatever it’s a lot like how it always is before a human gets messed up.

Life! Sheesh!

And you will have information that you can use to address social change and the strength to make real choices in your response to all the stupid stuff people do and say.

*obligatory disclaimer

**you had to be there