Election Day Blues
I woke up Wednesday morning, way too early, surprised by tears running involuntarily down my face. Actually, across my face and into my ears, because that's what happens when you cry lying down, and it's really quite unpleasant. It does, however, get one out of bed.
I went downstairs with my giant bright red Che Guevara wall hanging, planning to hang it out the front window, effectively shrouding the house. Clara walked in and said, "so what next Mama? Gonna arm the neighbors?"
Point taken.....down came Che and up went a giant painter's tape peace sign instead. (I didn't have any actual paint, just the tape.).
Tuesday night, as things were getting pretty tense, I went off to meditate. Couldn't do it. Everyone else had pretty much given over to drink by that point, but that's not really my style. Instead, I rallied the gang to walk around the block, stopped to buy cookies and came back home. Once again I tried to do my practice, and this time it worked. Not a long session, maybe fifteen minutes, but a session nonetheless. When I came back, nothing in the political world had changed. Nothing had changed and yet I felt so much better, because I was changed. And that's the whole point of meditation. We can't always have a say in external matters, but we can have a say in our internal conversations. We always have a choice in how we think about a thing. We can always change the direction of our mind.
Yesterday was the longest teaching day of my career. There was such an outpouring of rage, sadness and confusion with every person who came through the door, and to every student I asked the same thing. "What has changed for you? Right now? What's different? Did the sun rise? Did you shower and dress? Make tea or coffee? Okay, then. Listen.
Vigilance over violence. Steadiness over sadness. Turn your rage and sorrow into energy to fight the good fight. Be a peaceful warrior, and pay close attention to every move that will be made in our upcoming government. Become mindful. Become an activist. Talk about things that bother you in a constructive way. Put your money and your energy where perhaps you once only put your words.
The future is all conjecture and imagination. The past is done and gone. Right?
So if what is to come is illusory, and if the past is untouchable, what does that leave us? Same as always, we're left with the present moment.
And being present prepares us for the future.