April 17, 2013 § 14 Comments


I thought of you and where you’d gone and let the world spin madly on – The Weepies

I had something to post this week, but after Monday it was like, who cares. After Monday, I wanted to respond, but I was too angry to be helpful, too bewildered to even sit down, really.

On Tuesday, my son was in his first school musical put on by the most amazing bunch of kindergarten, first, and second graders I have ever seen, and I cried though most of it, the beauty and sadness coiling around me like a hurricane.

I read somewhere that what a hurricane wants most is peace, that it spins to resolve itself.

What has resolved my own spinning during these last few days are Lindsey’s words, Katrina’s words, and Jen’s words, this song by the Weepies that I have been listening to on repeat, and Anne Lamott’s words below.

In the yoga class I taught tonight, we did a lot of core work so that we could meet the present moment with integrity, exactly as it was, no matter what. And as usual, my students were braver than me.

Wherever you are, whatever you are feeling, I wish you peace.

 From Anne Lamott’s Facebook page, April 17, 2013:

Frederick Buechner wrote, “Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”

But it is hard not to be afraid, isn’t it? Some wisdom traditions say that you can’t have love and fear at the same time, but I beg to differ. You can be a passionate believer in God, in Goodness, in Divine Mind, and the immortality of the soul, and still be afraid. I’m Exhibit A.

The temptation is to say, as cute little Christians sometimes do, Oh, it will all make sense someday. Great blessings will arise from the tragedy, seeds of new life sown. And I absolutely believe those things, but if it minimizes the terror, it’s bullshit.

My understanding is that we have to admit the nightmare, and not pretend that it wasn’t heinous and agonizing; not pretend it as something more esoteric. Certain spiritual traditions could say about Hiroshima, Oh, it’s the whole world passing away.

Well, I don’t know.

I wish I could do what spiritual teachers teach, and get my thoughts into alignment with purer thoughts, so I could see peace and perfection in Hiroshima, in Newton, in Boston. Next time around, I hope to be a cloistered Buddhist. This time, though, I’m just a regular screwed up sad worried faithful human being.

There is amazing love and grace in people’s response to the killings. It’s like white blood cells pouring in to surround and heal the infection. It just breaks your heart every time, in the good way, where Hope tiptoes in to peer around. For the time being, I am not going to pretend to be spiritually more evolved than I am. I’m keeping things very simple: right foot, left foot, right foot, breathe; telling my stories, and reading yours. I keep thinking about Barry Lopez’s wonderful line, “Everyone is held together with stories. That is all that is holding us together; stories and compassion.”

That rings one of the few bells I am hearing right now, and it is a beautiful crystalline sound. I’m so in.


§ 14 Responses to Monday

  • I loved this line by Lamott, “I’m keeping things very simple: right foot, left foot, right foot, breathe; telling my stories, and reading yours.” It is always supportive to “read yours.” Thanks for writing during this difficult week. Wishing you peace and love.

  • I’m so grateful for such beautiful words and voices. I don’t have anything yet. I will read their words to carry me through.

  • I found some peace in your words, as I did in Lindsey’s. On to Katrina’s next. xoxo

  • Pamela says:

    Oh I agree! I didn’t read Jena’s until I published this. Here is the link for others who might want to read it. “Why We Are Here:”

  • Oh, Pam … first of all, that Buechner quote has been on my mind, and I even discussed it with Stacy Morrison this week. And I reached out to Buechner himself to ask: “HOW do we not be afraid?” I hadn’t read these words by Anne Lamott and am so glad you posted them. Beauty and sadness coiling like a hurricane. I have to admit my life feels like that every single day. More, now, and rawer, yes, but the truth is that’s a pretty standard set of emotions for me. xoxo

  • Kate says:

    the image of a hurricane spinning to resolve itself will stay with me for as long as it can… thanks for that. i’m completely unresolved these days, if one can be complete in irresolution… and just waiting for the first tendrils to dissipate and unravel… i’m grateful for your stories, wish i could see you for yoga, and always love to see you’ve written… here’s to resolution. (sometimes)

  • Katrina Kenison says:

    Thank you Pam, as always, for your simple honesty and grace. I knew that same feeling on Monday, as I thought all day about writing something about visiting colleges with Jack — only to have the world turned upside down before dinner time. Struggling to find words, balance, meaning, it’s been incredibly helpful to share the path with kindred souls on line, to realize that we gain our strength and our peace from one another.

  • Jessica says:

    I’m new to your blog, and I just wanted to say- thank you. My feelings over Monday have been murky and, at times, overwhelming. Connection, more than anything else, has brought me closer to peace. Again, thank you for sharing your story.

  • jhalepis says:

    I’m new to your blog, and I just wanted to say- thank you. My feelings about Monday have been murky, difficult to sort through, and at times they are overwhelming. Connection, more than anything else, has brought me closer to peace. Again, thank you for sharing your story.

  • Stacey says:

    I’m so glad to have found you through Lindsey’s Facebook post. I will be back often. Your words (and Anne Lammot’s) were just what I needed to hear today.

  • Laura Plumb says:

    You are amazing! Standing in the midst of the hurricane with your arms wide open, you are a spiritual warrior, Pamela, living Truth. Thank you for your example and honest approach to life, beautiful and terrible as it is.

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