January thaw

img_2122Good morning, friends. How are you doing this winter? Is anyone else having a hard time making it through? I’ve been fine, really, but even when the winter is relatively mild it feels like everything is just a little bit harder. Getting out of bed has been harder. I’m hyper-responsible (which comes from a deep fear that I’m irresponsible) so I hardly ever wake up late, much less get to work late, but there have been a couple of mornings lately that it was really, really hard to gather the energy to crawl out from under the covers. Life in general feels hard, but then there’s this upcoming inauguration and fears — which are already being realized — that some hard days are ahead for our country. I have an undercurrent of stress and anxiety that I think many Americans share, and I’m worried about us as a nation. This kind of constant stress isn’t good for us. I’d like to buy us all a coke, except not a coke because it’s full of high fructose corn syrup and chemicals. I’d like to buy us all a smoothie. Or a massage. Or a yoga class. Or, you know, affordable health care.

My own faith, and deep inner peace, comes from the belief that even though everything is not going to be okay, I am going to be okay, deep down in the core of me, where the one who created me and loves me breathes with me. Every breath reminds me of the presence of the Spirit. All I have to do to return to that presence is to breathe. That I am deeply known and loved and held is true, just as it is true that terrible things are happening in the world, and terrible things are going to happen. Holding these two truths together in my heart, in my body, in my breath is the challenge and the hope of this winter.

A friend of mine has chosen the word resistance as her word for 2017, and I wish I could join her. I want to be strong, I want to feel like I can do something to fight for justice and fairness in this scary new world. Or, you know, affordable health care. But I honestly can often barely get out of bed these days. I go to my nanny job, I run my errands, go to physical therapy for this foot problem I have and to the chiropractor for this back problem, come home and cook dinner, take my migraine meds, and then collapse into bed again. Just getting through the day is about all I can manage. I think my word of 2017 might be something like basic survival. Yet that is resistance, too. George MacDonald wrote:

Let us in all the troubles of life remember – that our one lack is life – that what we need is more life – more of the life-making presence in us making us more, and more largely live. Let us rouse ourselves to live. Of all things let us avoid the false refuge of a weary collapse, a hopeless yielding to things as they are…he has the victory who, in the midst of pain and weakness, cries out…for strength to fight; for more power, more conscious-ness of being, more God in him.

I woke up this morning sore from the chiropractor’s appointment, tired from work, and feeling a migraine coming on. But I woke up. I roused myself to live. And I sat on my couch and opened my computer to write to you. I greatly admire my friends, and those like her, who are gathering and organizing and doing something to resist, to fight. And I also greatly admire my friends who are fighting just to get out of bed in the morning. I am trying to admire myself for that, too. Weariness draws us into despair, but instead of giving into that despair, we rouse ourselves to live. We wake up each day and get out of bed. We take deep breaths and remember that God is with us. In the midst of our pain and weakness we cry out for strength and life. And while we wait for the winter to be over we keep moving through it, doing our best each day. That is resistance. That is courage. That is enough.

Love,
Jessica

P.S. If you do have a little extra energy and want to be involved, your local chapter of Showing Up For Racial Justice is a great place to start. Among many other things they send a monthly list of action points, including a commitment worksheet and follow up encouragement. http://www.showingupforracialjustice.org/about

Come follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and join in the conversation! (I’ll tell you a secret: I’m feistiest on Twitter!)

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6 comments on “January thaw

  1. beckith2010 says:

    I was just trying to remember how I came upon your blog. I can’t. I usually only subscribe to art related blogs. But I know there is a reason for being here. I don’t have migraines anymore, don’t have to go to work every day now (retired) and physically I am hanging in there but I do so relate to what you said this morning. I do have depression and this winter seems to be the worst in a long time. Doesn’t help that I thought I was doing so well that I went off the meds – back on again now. The ominous feelings since and actually before the election are weighing heavily. Plus family problems that come and go and are pretty serious right now add to the weight. Plus having a cold that has lasted two weeks and in finally on its way out. I do not remember ever needing spring to come so badly. I have an art show March 1. The biggest in my art career and I can’t get to painting. I was thinking the other day it wouldn’t be so bad to just go to sleep and move on to the next chapter. Not going to do anything about it but I just almost feel like I am done. Scared the crap out of my husband when I told him this. So I too am fighting through every day waiting for the “this too shall pass” time. But will it? Fake it til you make it doesn’t seem to be working this time either. I am trying the resistance thing. While my heart is in it, I don’t have the energy to physically do it.

    Anyway just blathering on – just want you to know your words touched me today. Thanks for struggling out of bed and sharing. I am sure there are many of us out there putting on the tough resistance masks who are melting down inside. Keep on keeping on I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa says:

    Thank you for your post…Like the previous writer, it is a feeling that winter is a dark time for the soul…Journaling, reading the Bible, reading great thinkers and not watching the news, lol, keep me sane..oh and lots of candles, and a glass of wine.. I always find that this is when God’s spirit is really reaching out to me…Off to Ikea to get more candles to try to bring more Hygge..to my life…Blessings…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jules says:

    Thank you Jessica.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Will Moriarty says:

    I am more than concerned about what our new president will do. And moreso with all the ballyhoo about him being God’s instrument. The pattern is really parallel with some of history’s worst dictators.

    Like

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