A twenty degree angle, up from the east to the west. After 36 hours of fierce but invisible wind, the snow has begun. I’m relieved.
ah, this year, this year.
As I would with child coming down from his destructive tantrum, I want to dose this year with a well-laced hot toddy and tuck it firmly into bed, so we may all have the chance for some self-care. A break from the nonsensical, irrational, incessant howling we’ve endured to breathe in simple things.
Even for an hour, to be simple, straightforward.
All of us are on a four-lane superhighway it seems, doing our best to be generous, to be kind, but oh so beleaguered, so worn out.
The Chickadees sing in the slanting snow.
Despite the breathtaking antagonism, the astonishing indifference, the unrepentant mean-spiritedness witnessed and endured these past few months, they still sing, cheerful. They have done this every winter, for as long as Chickadees have been chickadees.
It follows then, that if the Chickadees sing, so can we.
It’s dark down there – difficult to see, to dig and keep digging. At the bottom of it, when you get there, you find an understanding that changes the shape of your world.
I’ve just watched a film about a young prosecutor with great natural integrity who is working in Frankfurt just after WWII. He is drawn to dig for answers in places where his colleagues are oddly reluctant to go, specifically about what happened at a work camp in Poland. What happened at Auschwitz is revealed to him through the stories of survivors and he realizes with growing horror that all 8000 soldiers who worked at the camp are complicit. That everyone who knew what was happening, what had happened, and did nothing, was complicit.
A culture which covertly rewards cruelty and entitlement to violence is a culture grievously sick. It’s a culture of people who need desperately to examine and understand their own internal darkness. It is us, our blood memory.
We are all of us in need of Truth, and then the reconciliation that leads to healing.
Here’s an excerpt from a story I read on social media this morning, published by “A Mighty Girl” (an organization that collects such stories and offers them as empowerment to young people)
Twenty years ago today, Keshia Thomas was 18 years old when the KKK held a rally in her home town of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Hundreds of protesters turned out to tell the white supremacist organization that they were not welcome in the progressive college town. At one point during the event, a man with a SS tattoo and wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with a Confederate flag ended up on the protesters’ side of the fence and a small group began to chase him. He was quickly knocked to the ground and kicked and hit with placard sticks.
As people began to shout, “Kill the Nazi,” the high school student, fearing that mob mentality had taken over, decided to act. Thomas threw herself on top of one of the men she had come to protest, protecting him from the blows, and told the crowd that you “can’t beat goodness into a person.” In discussing her motivation for this courageous act after the event, she stated, “Someone had to step out of the pack and say, ‘this isn’t right’… I knew what it was like to be hurt. The many times that that happened, I wish someone would have stood up for me… violence is violence – nobody deserves to be hurt, especially not for an idea.”
Colour pages 1-6 are meditations on red, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.
White is made of all these colours, in balance. Enlightenment.
I offer that white is kindness – a simple act of compassion that can unravel any knot of negativity, ease pain, transform anger into forgiveness. Firm, clear and clean, the white of compassion is a balm to the discolourment of pain.
White is a still, safe, tender place where stories can be told, and heard.