the winter of our discontent

the winter of our discontent

For the first time in my life, I’m eagerly anticipating spring.  Yes, even with the March of Sadness, even with the Lent, even with the rain (which may bring flowers but first brings chilly ennui), even with the Evil Time Change of Newly Dark Mornings, even with all the things I know to be true…

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…I just can’t anymore with this winter.  I am always dark and cold and holding myself together by hugging my ribs.  I went to a yoga class last night, and we did fish pose, which I usually kind of feel “meh” about, but last night I realized it was the first time in weeks, in months, maybe since Nov 5th, that I’d opened up my rib cage, my heart, my energy, my spirit, and it felt wonderful.

 

It hasn’t snowed much, which doesn’t help.  I love the snow.  The magic.  The hush.  A snowstorm uplifts me.  The grey-brown stagnant ground of a mild winter does not.

Our new country of Trumplandia is obviously not helping.

I’ve always been a morning person.  Well, always meaning “when not a grungy teenager”.  I’ve been getting up between 5:30am and 6:30am for the last 5 years, no problem.  With vim.  Loving that quiet time before the rest of the house wakes up.  Even in the dark, cold, winters.

This winter I just…can’t.  I’m pushing it later, and later, and later.  This morning I got up at 7:05, which considering I have to be dressed and taking Isaac to the schoolbus at 7:15, is pretty terrible.  Andrew is getting up before me.  ANDREW, who is *not* in any way a morning person.

But, the other night, I was doing my early evening prayer at 5pm, and I noticed it was still light outside.  Not light enough for me to read my bible without a candle (I’m old school with my early evening prayer), but not pitch black as I looked out the window.

And I felt a flicker of…hope?  Was that hope?  Energy?  Spirit?

The sun gives energy to all living things on this earth.  Maybe this spring, I even with the March, the Lent, the Rain, The Evil Time Change, I can look to the light again.

Like a fish.

 

Woke

Woke

If there’s a plus side to this Trump Admnistration, it’s that it’s reminded me of a side of myself I’d let wither and die: my activist self.

I used to show up, speak out, carry signs, start petitions, consequences be damned.  I outed myself at work when someone sent an anti-gay e-mail to the whole staff, even though I could’ve been fired for being queer.  I had pink triangles on my dorm room door, even though fraternity brothers left me hate-notes and veiled sexual threats after big parties in the same building.  I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote my representatives.  I lived in special activist housing in college, where we hosted meetings and supplied materials for groups to advocate, to protest, to change the world.

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And then.

I got complacent, I guess.  I got married, and starting living the privileged life of a white cis-gender upper middle class woman in a heterosexual marriage.  Nothing is wrong with me myself being white, cis-gender, upper middle class, or married to a man…but I stopped speaking out.  Stopped hearing about places to show up.

When a dear friend of mine came out as bisexual a few years ago and told me about it, my first thought was being thrilled for him, and my second thought was that, in being silent all these years, I’d essentially closeted myself.

When Trump got the Republican nomination, I had to come to terms with all this – that the stakes are higher now.  I could just lie low and continue to live in my privilege…but that activist I used to be just rose up and said “no, you cannot.  You CAN NOT.”

And I argued with her.  My children, I said, especially my super-vulnerable eldest.  I can’t go marching.  I can’t leave.  I can’t devote all the energy activism takes.

And she reminded me, if this Administration is as sinister and fascist as our gut says it is…it’s the super-vulnerable who need us to speak up, stand up, show up.  That I’m stronger now than I was before because of my place of privilege.  People will listen to me.  They will see my skin color and my age (not too young and not too old) and my socio-economic status and my religion and they will listen to me in ways they will not listen to others.  I MUST SPEAK.

Then, of course, being me, I became completely overwhelmed by all there was to speak about, to do.  So, after being paralyzed and not-helpful for a bit, I decided just to do 1-3 things  a day.  Build momentum.  Slow and steady.  The drip of water that wears down the rock.

And I hate where our country is right now.  I’m afraid of so many things.

But finding that activist inside me again?  So good.

YES.  Yes we can.

Fast Day

Fast Day

Today is a Fast Day for me, and it’s not the hunger that makes it hard, it’s the fog of brain fuzz I’m functioning through.  I take seriously the instructions to maintain outward calm and normalcy while fasting – not to make a show of it – but at work today I’ve trailed off midsentence, simply unable to find the next word.  I keep blinking and cleaning my glasses like that will help.

My fasting isn’t much – I eat vegan/whole grains only, and I don’t snack.  I switch to tea from coffee.  I mean, life could be harder, you know?

Yet.  Fuzz.

I’m trying to link it to prayer, as one should.  In the bible fasting is never mentioned outside of the context of “fasting and praying”.  So, when I look longingly at the cake pop in my office (my workmates keep bringing me cake pops.  I save them up and allow one a day.  It’s madness) or when I catch myself staring blankly off into space, I pray.

Dear God.  I am emptying myself to make room for You.  I am with Jesus in the desert.  A-men.

Let’s just hope I don’t get Friday-Fired in the near future…