“We’re all just walking each other home.” —Ram Dass
It’s been a really rough year. We’re still standing-ish.
Most everyone I know (and many more that I don’t), have had a difficult 2017. I won’t list the thousands of horrors brought to our country and the world by the current administration. Some of these things, like racism, have never left us. This country was built on genocide and the suffering of millions. But this year, we took a giant step backwards. I’ve been stunned and outraged by the cruelty continuously inflicted on people, wildlife, and the planet. I’ve taken action and hidden under blankets. I highly recommend both: Action as you’re able, and hiding under blankets. Otherwise you’ll burn out. It’s a long struggle. Always has been. Take good care of yourselves. Reading, music, gather around the animals near you. Ours are cats inside, birds outside. Hold onto anything that makes you laugh.
Some memorable things from this past year:
Mudbound —a true masterpiece. Get Out was amazing. The Big Sick was really good, as was Wind River, and the documentary The Center Will Not Hold about Joan Didion. The Handmaid’s Tale (re-read and watched) felt way too close to home. I loved This Is Us on TV and the book Dying by Cory Taylor.
We had some health stuff in our family circle. A dear friend of mine lost her brother. Several people fought cancer and are here. A friend died. She loved her family, her garden, and life. None of it is fair.
I got to see one of my oldest, dearest friends (since age 12) who I hadn’t seen in about 10 years. She was visiting from Israel with her family at the end of summer and had only a few days in NYC. It still sustains me these many months later that we got to hug and sit and eat and walk and laugh and cry together for 6 magical hours. We stood in the middle of stores, in Times Square, in the busiest loudest of places, and we talked about our lives and everything fell away. I’m so grateful for her and our friendship over miles and years. It helps so much to have real friends. This past year I was able to reconnect with several and I feel lucky.
Today in 1999, my husband proposed to me. 18 years in a flash. Thank goodness we’re still here together. Too many people don’t get a chance to grow old with the person they love.
In the past few days, the sad news about the death of justice warrior, Erica Garner, may she rest in power; she lost her life at a tragically young age, leaving behind a brokenhearted family and community.
We must all fight on for each other’s humanity. Please keep doing the work to resist and dismantle racism, Anti Semitism, Islamophobia, and all forms of hate which has been unleashed and directed so viciously at already oppressed and at -risk people and communities including immigrants, LGBTQ, People of Color, Native, Indigenous, and First Nations people, the homeless, women, children, seniors, people with disabilities, people living in poverty, and anyone in your corner who needs support and safety.
The things I grab onto for hope are the many people I know who are relentless and tireless in the many battles that our country and world face. I’m uplifted by my friends and strangers doing good work all over the planet (past and present).
The writers, artists, musicians, comedians, poets, filmmakers, screenwriters, actors, songwriters, scientists, photographers, lawyers, doctors, nurses, all the activists, peace workers, bird watchers, journalists, environmentalists, dancers, children, gardeners, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and neighbors who persist and bring light, love, truth and beauty here.
I despair as much as the next person. We’re in precarious, insane times. Everything is at stake. Our hugs are healing. We go one day at a time. My son said this:
I wish you well, and with hopes that you and yours have shelter, food, health, kindness, and love in your life. That your days and nights have enough laughs and magic to keep you going, enough medicine, enough of whatever you need to get by.
Wishing you a bright 2018!
Love & Peace,