Monday, September 18, 2017

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.


37paddington said...

I'm sorry for your loss. Your last paragraph is stunning. Yes.

Ms. Moon said...

I watched a little bit of the Burns documentary. I have been reading about it for quite awhile now.
And Beth, you are a better woman than I. My take-away is that human beings are the most fucked up creatures on earth and I can't bear to watch the suffering we cause. Have caused. Will cause.
Some things are not our fault and that is painful enough that I can hardly bear it.
I think your way is better. To go into that pain and explore and let it do its alchemy on your heart and soul. You are a midwife which means you are a warrior of the heart.

Radish King said...

Thank you. You are one of the most authentic people I've ever known.

am said...

Sending love. Feeling the grief all around the baby who died and opened so many hearts to that pain.

In December 1970, the young man I had loved for 4 years brought the Vietnam War home with him at age 21. Soon after his return, we went to an anti-war protest where Joan Baez sang. My young man never recovered from his experience in Vietnam, spending the last part of his life homeless until he found a home in the VA hospital where he died at age 57.

Thank you for mentioning the new documentary about the Vietnam War. This morning I am taking the time to watch the first episode on the PBS website, revisiting that old pain and letting my heart open to it in a new way, knowing that so many will be re-experiencing that time of war and so many will be new to the events of that time of war in this time of war.

All days new days. Opening.

Elizabeth said...

Thank you for this. In my community, children are constantly lost. I don't know how we do it other than how you are doing it, and knowing that people like you are out there, breathing in suffering and breathing out love, is everything.

Sabine said...

Thank you for doing what you do.