The fog is always different here. It floats in and out and sometimes disappears but today it moves like a leopard, the sky peeking through like reverse spots. The spots on leopards are called rosettes because they resemble the shape of a rose. Fog spots open and close, as they come together and let go.
Now the fog momentarily changes course. It lines up like a spine.
I’m very aware of my own spine because I’ve now had two Alexander Technique sessions. I chose to begin this work because I realized we are living in times where we have to speak. I need to loosen up my vocal cords, release my throat and neck and look around like an animal on the savanna emerging from the woods. I need to be clear on predator and prey, and nourish my energy for pouncing strength.
This morning I’m with this quote from Anne Frank:
“Terrible things are happening outside. At any time of night and day, poor helpless people are being dragged out of their homes… Families are torn apart: men, women and children are separated. Children come home from school to find their parents have disappeared.”
And it’s happening here, in this country, in 2019.
I was speaking with a friend from Toastmasters this week. I left the club a few years ago to focus on my book.
My friend said the club is now filled with people in their forties which is good as our club was on the elderly side but she said these younger people don’t know history we lived through and take for granted.
They didn’t live through the Vietnam era. They didn’t watch the news every night on TV, the same news that everyone in the country watched. They didn’t eat dinner seeing body bags coming home. They didn’t live when there was a draft so the military was made up of a range of backgrounds and ethnicities. Everyone was invested in whether their draft number was high or low.
Eliminating the draft changed the composition of the military, and in addition, war has become, even more dramatically, a money-making enterprise. Blackwater, a privately owned military company, makes money paying mercenaries to fight without allegiance to ethics or cause.
Today the photo of Melania holding a baby orphaned in the mass shooting in El Paso is shocking. She and Trump are smiling as he does a thumbs-up. Thumbs up for what? What can they be thinking? What don’t they understand?
Richard Rohr, a Franciscan friar, shares this today in his daily meditation from the Center for Action and Contemplation. He is encouraging each of us to honor our inner mystic, bring it forth.
Episcopal priest Matthew Fox writes:
The crises we find ourselves in as a species require that as a species we shake up all our institutions—including our religious ones—and reinvent them. Change is necessary for our survival, and we often turn to the mystics at critical times like this. Jung said: “Only the mystics bring creativity into religion.” Jesus was a mystic shaking up his religion and the Roman empire; Buddha was a mystic who shook up the prevailing Hinduism of his day; Gandhi was a mystic shaking up Hinduism and challenging the British Empire; and Martin Luther King, Jr. shook up his tradition and America’s segregationist society. The mystics walk their talk and talk (often in memorable poetic phraseology) their walk.
Rohr writes that Howard Thurman (1900–1981) was “a mystic who sought to make peace between religions and founded the first major interracial, interfaith church in the United States, urged people to “listen for the sound of the genuine.” Rohr shares excerpts from one of Thurman’s talks.
There is something in everyone of you that waits, listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself and if you can not hear it, you will never find whatever it is for which you are searching and if you hear it and then do not follow it, it was better that you had never been born. . . .
Sometimes there is so much traffic going on in your minds, so many different kinds of signals . . . and you are buffeted by these and in the midst of all of this you have got to find out what your name is. Who are you? . . .
Now there is something in everybody that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in other people. . . . I must wait and listen for the sound of the genuine in you. . . .
Now if I hear the sound of the genuine in me and if you hear the sound of the genuine in you it is possible for me to go down in me and come up in you. So that when I look at myself through your eyes having made that pilgrimage, I see in me what you see in me and the wall that separates and divides will disappear and we will become one because the sound of the genuine makes the same music.
I have wanted to avoid politics on this blog, but when I asked my friend how she brought Vietnam into Toastmasters where politics is forbidden, she said Vietnam was not a political issue. It was a moral one.
When Rodin conceived a sculpture that would depict the poet Dante, he didn’t realize it would evolve beyond representing Dante to representing all poets and creators. May we do the same!