Watching Ken Burns first installment of 'Vietnam' on PBS. Please tune in. I had no idea how long that country was under siege, how many presidents had their eye on the 'situation' and sent $$ and troops covertly. What is it about us humans that we must take other countries, people hostage? Why do we do that? Endless misery.
End of this month, my clinic will once again feed homeless kids in a church basement. I think we're going on 4 years we've been doing this. I have my regulars, folks we've delivered who show up to make a mess o' food in a truly decrepit kitchen. I mean. The burners on the stove are iffy, there aren't any decent knives and the lino is, well the floors need replacing. We make it work, time after time. I do a Costco run, we always have food left over and we feed hungry children.
Going on two retreats in October. I'm beyond weary. We lost a baby and I'm holding so much grief. I want the silence of the forest, simple meals made by someone else and a little bed I can sleep in. No cell phone, no internet, just the quiet dharma hall and my beloved Canadian teacher leading us in chants in her wobbly voice. Refuge, I'm seeking refuge. Someone asked me tonight if I was doing a 'spiritual bypass'. Quite the opposite. I'm not looking to transcend the pain, rather to go deeply into the pain, to hold it with tenderness and love. The loss of a child is a profound loss. All over the world are parents who have lost children and there is a web that connects them all. Grief levels us, makes us more compassionate.
As our very planet suffers, we who are made of earth and sky, we open to the pain of it all. Precious, our lives. How we spend our time. How we treat each other. How we treat ourselves. It's all we have, in the end. Staying open, letting the pain open us in ways we hadn't expected. Softening to love and wisdom and grace.