I'm reading back over some of my musings from the past year, trying to drum up something to write about, to complete the fourth day of this challenge. I'm struck by the bigness of what I've tended, the experiments I bravely created for myself, the ceremonies I've stepped into, the risks I've taken. I feel proud. Proud of the way I live, tracking within, always falling toward the center of my longing, crossing whatever psychospiritual threshold seems to be beckoning and rarely looking back.
Except of course when I'm taken over by my inner critic, who ruthlessly compares me to others, or some idealized image of who I could be. Not too long ago I sat with a friend at her mother's bedside as she slowly died. My friend looked through her Facebook photos, remembering special moments with her mom, and showing me the twists and turns of her very lively and productive past. I felt as if I were dying, and was ashamed of the life I'd lived.
It is not easy to be proud of being human these days, to stand fully behind one's life.
This past week when my siblings and their spouses and their toddlers were all crammed in my apartment waiting for flights to be rescheduled, or power to be restored, I struggled to manage. I couldn't concentrate, felt smothered, disoriented. I took a walk in the neighborhood, passing split open trees, ripped apart by the heavy freezing rain. I felt the presence of the absence of grief over climate change, how much our human madness weighs on the wild ones. I couldn't be present with it, even though its ice daggers hung from the branches.
All of the inner work that drives me is the world yanking on my passion for this Earth, for life, grabbing hold of my love and breaking my heart toward what is possible.
Most of the time I believe that.