Post-election Practice

Feeling grateful for my practice these past couple of weeks. Or, rather, feeling grateful that I have a practice to turn to and deepen as I navigate some raw emotional terrain.[1]

Still in a spell of grieving, the profundity of which continues to surprise me, I read and teach of despair and hell and hope, winging through the early books of “Paradise Lost.” Of misogyny, racism, internalized self-loathing and roots of selfish evil through the late acts of “Othello.”

I don’t want to act while I’m still reactive—while the emotion, thick in my throat, makes swift action seem urgent, necessary, the only thing to do. I read of Sidney’s “feeling skill,” of freezing fires, and an epic poem of paradox and pun, and I sit with, sit with, sit with.

I notice sadness and grief turning to blame. I feel my finger pointing—what are YOU doing? What are YOU going to do? What should WE do? Why aren’t WE doing anything? What am I doing? What can I do? Why aren’t I doing enough?

Post- election, I’ve, like others, felt as though someone had died. I’ve also felt heartbreak.

In the past, when grieving for lost life or lost love, I have blamed and hated God, or fate, or myself. I’ve also thirsted for revenge, despaired, and withdrawn.

But in recent memory my practice has—mirabilis!— brought perspective. Death… resilience. Heartbreak…resilience.

Now…?

I’m still sitting with.

I’m reading, teaching, visiting with friends and family, crying, speaking, laughing, cooking, hiking, … yes.

But still sitting with. Sitting with. Sitting with.

Thank you, my sweet community of poets, contemplatives, scientists, students, creators, destroyers, yogis, lovers, and friends for all the chances you’ve given me to sit with, sit with, sit with; for co-creating with me a buoy of experience to practice, practice, practice.

 

_____________________

[1] Noticing my strong desire to, as I write, note that my suffering is minimal compared to that of others. Noticing my desire to acknowledge that I really have no right to feel so sad, etc. But, I guess, my subject here is not how rational or justified my fear and sadness are, but rather how palpable.

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One comment on “Post-election Practice

  1. […] many of them– particularly journaling, meditation, dance, and ritual. But yoga has been “my practice” for over a decade. And it has shaped my life and lived experience in ways not always touted by […]

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