I’m moist with tears this morning, tears of beauty, love, gratitude, and loss. I was up in the night coughing. Steve took my temperature and it’s fine so what is going on.
Perhaps there are days everything hits. Yesterday I watched a movie called Irmi. The film is streaming through the Jewish Film Festival so I watched it in my home. My interest was Irmi married Heinrich Selver, who was Charlotte Selver’s first husband.
I didn’t expect to meet another amazing woman: Irmi.
She lost her husband and two children when they were trying to escape Nazi Germany on a ship leaving Amsterdam for Chile. The ship hit a German mine and blew up. She was tossed into the waves and rescued. She lost her husband, and two children, aged 7 and 2. She also lost her brother and his family.
I can’t stop seeing and feeling that loss and yet after three weeks where she was catatonic, she chose to live. She rose from her bed and went on to have two more children, and create a beautiful and inspiring life.
I also watched Brenda Hillman and Robert Hass, two amazing poets discuss what it is to shelter-in-place these days. You can watch them here:
They pointed out that first we were in isolation and then we were hit with the clearly demonstrated knowing that Black Lives Matter. It’s a great deal to absorb. My heart and throat are sore. I cough up the confinement of the past, and make space for change.
This morning I read that John Lewis, the great Civil Rights leader. has died at the age of 80.
In June, reporter Jonathan Capehart asked Representative Lewis “what he would say to people who feel as though they have already been giving it their all but nothing seems to change.” Lewis answered: “You must be able and prepared to give until you cannot give any more. We must use our time and our space on this little planet that we call Earth to make a lasting contribution, to leave it a little better than we found it, and now that need is greater than ever before.”
I pause to adjust my sails, bring them down for a bit, and grieve. Sometimes I need a pause to propel me into knowing why I’m here and why I am so blessed.
I’m deeply grateful to be living, breathing, feeling, and sensing in my current form, surrounded by other beautiful forms who enhance, enrich, and celebrate my living and their own.