Hello friends, and TGIF. It’s been a sad, weird, stormy, somewhat productive, and at times, even joyful week in our house. Like all of you, I was devastated to learn about the mass shootings that took place in Atlanta Tuesday night. At times, Georgia can be the best of us … and at other times, the worst. In the north/northeastern suburbs where I live, the AAPI community is huge. I left my neighborhood for the first time this morning (Holly had a grooming appointment) and was sad/glad to see flags at City Hall and at the lake flying at half staff. I listened to Pantsuit Politics latest episode (it dropped this morning – link) on my way to/from her appointment and – as always – their conversation helped. I especially appreciated Sarah’s comments about looking at these hate crimes through an intersectionality lens (like how we address them is not as “easy” as gun control or “hate crime” laws), and Beth’s about figuring out what is my work to do. It’s at lot and my heart and my body feel the weight.
A few weeks back, Carolyn recommended I read Julian, a contemplative biography (amazon link). I was surprised my library had a copy available almost immediately and I’ve been savoring it. I had the opportunity to recommend it as a sleeper to my Friday morning prayer group after reading a few pages from it for our meditation this morning. These past few days I’ve been coming back to these words: “She could understand why the Holy Ghost had counseled her not to pray for anyone in particular, but only for the well-being of all. Praying and worrying for each in particular could become a painful burden…” and that also reminded me about Tonglen (link), a breath prayer practice I learned from Pema Chodron’s When Things Fall Apart. Breathe in pain. breathe out healing. breathe in hate. breathe out love. breathe in fear. breathe out compassion. I’m not sure that’s what Pema’s practice actually intended, but it’s been helpful and I’m sharing it in case it might be helpful for you, too.
and in that spirit of healing, love, and compassion, I have a short TGIF post to share.
Thinking about … post-vaccination like a Lazy Genius. or at least to start. The first principle of being a Lazy Genius is to name what matters. the second is to start small. My mom gets her second vaccine next week and I get mine April 16th. When we talked this week I told her to pencil in lunch on May 4. It will likely be take-out. it will likely include wine. and we will most definitely be sitting at a table together (maybe even inside)!
Grateful for … a new leadership team for Women’s Ministry at my church. I’ve been on this leadership team for most of the last ten years, and I’ve led/co-led for the last four. I am beyond delighted to be stepping away (well, maybe in June?). The annual Women’s Service was this past Sunday and it was such a joy to sit and watch … as a member of the congregation.
Inspired by … Tuesday’s Pantsuit Politics episode (link) … their interview with Dr. Karla Vermeulen was for sure thought-provoking. And I’m planning to take this last bit, from Courtney Martin, to my sister’s tomorrow. We’re having a commemoration gathering on her porch with my mom and my sister-in-law. We last gathered in person on March 14, 2020 (that was the last in-person gathering I had with anyone outside our bubble … which does not include them).
“Who are you now?
Or let me put this more variably. What small corner of your home or neighborhood have you learned to see a new this year?
What person have you fallen in love with?
If you could only pick one emotion to symbolize the majority of your state of being this year, what would it be?
What grief has threatened to sweep you away?
How have you stayed here?
What have you learned about your relationship to risk?
What have you learned about your relationship to limitations?
What have you learned about America’s fragility and strength?
How will you feed the institutions that keep us safe, honest, together?
What small weird project has given your life meaning this year?
How have you asked for help?
What do you need to never forget?”
(nearly) Finished… Noten!
Marc and I are getting our first vaccines at 6pm today. I am nervous-excited about what that means and what the next months will hold for us and for our family. I am also beyond grateful after listening to the main portion of today’s Pantsuit Politics podcast for how much science and engineering it took took to get us here. I was back home on the treadmill when I listened to the end; and I was close to tears sitting with (walking with) all the incredible passion, imagination, perseverance, and execution that went into getting us here … and all those shots in arms.
Wishing y’all the best weekend available!