I like it when my thoughts are uncluttered by my emotions enough to blog or follow a new train of thought in writing I am doing, but I had to admit a few years ago: Without stimulation in my life from the imperative to work for a living, my thoughts would be likewise unstimulated and rather boring. As it is, I don’t know whether I please anyone but myself, but at least I am having fun, and maybe others will enjoy the little bits I have to say. I am really enjoying the character of “Old Lady,” a name the little noisy neighbor boys accosted me with one day while walking the dog.
Age is relative I suppose. We have our so-called Middle Ages, which I assumed I’d hit when I turned 40, but how can anyone really know their appropriate Middle Age without knowing inevitably how long their life will be? I know my Middle Age was not quite as young as 30, given that my 62nd birthday will be celebrated in two weeks, and Alan and I will celebrate our 9th Wedding Anniversary this coming week. Alan has a few years on me, so I suppose he has turned ripe, but I hope not ripe enough to fall off the tree any time soon. I rather like his company.
And given the play with words, maybe our so-called Middle Ages are our Dark Ages, since those seem to be the years we question our lives, our direction, and some people are crazy enough to have a “hiccup” Medieval life crisis and go chasing younger men and women from some misplaced fantasies of renewed youth.
I am grateful to those noisy little neighbor boys for inspiring this train of thought in me. When I was a small noisy little neighbor girl, it was easy to speak directly from the perceptions of my experience. Life had not yet colored me into the box of “political correctness” and I spoke freely from the honesty of a child. Emotional experiences were pretty direct too. You knew what to expect from the other kids and whether they liked you or not. You knew whether it was going to be a good school year from the emotional vibes you picked up from the teacher. A couple of years, I thought, “This is going to be a mean one,” and she was. A couple of other years I knew I had lucked into a really kind one. There was a woman janitor in my first elementary school who was extraordinarily kind, as was my sixth grade teacher. I never forgot those people. They made me feel special, appreciated, and good, no matter what shit was hitting the fan at home. I want to be kind.
So the Election Day is over. The votes have been counted and most of the people have gone home, rather like turning off the lights of the Christmas Tree and going to bed. The specialness of the time is over, the night is ahead of us, and there is the memory of this time to carry through the days ahead. We don’t know what to expect. Some of us are delighted and others of us are angry and disappointed, and I hope we are all wise enough to be kind and start to mend the divides that have hurt us all.
I think that some of the biggest stuff that really harms us all is when we make the mistake of making assumptions that just because someone supported a certain candidate that they are racist, or a white suprematist, or a person who hates life because their candidate supported Roe v. Wade… We cannot know any of that! And these mistaken ideas spread the hate, not the love.
I was visited by the Light in the darkness a couple of nights prior to the election. Stressed and worried and lacking trust, I asked, “Please let Biden win.” The Light stopped and asked, “Why?” The Light resolved itself into a human form, the figure of Gabriel I have spoken with before. I ran through my comparative train of thought – that I thought Biden was a more loving person than Trump, and the Light said, “Trump is a loving person.” I thought that Trump has not done much good in office, and the Light said, “Trump has done good in office.” Finally I got honest with myself and the Light, and I said that I wanted Joe Biden to win because he promised to address Climate Change. The Light accepted that answer, because it was genuine.
I told the Light that I loved the forests and trees, the rich multiplicity and diversity of the life forms of this Earth home, her deserts and her mountains and her oceans. The Light embraced me with Its love and I felt so deeply how God loves all of us – Trump, and Biden, and you, and me – and I saw something of how deep God’s patience and endurance of waiting for us to figure it out. How can I continue to hate someone I don’t really know, when God loves me that completely, that deeply, that patiently?
The figure of Gabriel began to shrink. I asked, “How can You be shrinking? Don’t you need a larger form to hold all of this Grace I am experiencing?” Then Gabriel disappeared and in His place stood Apollo. Apollo continued to hold me in the space fo that Grace and told me that my task now is to embody this loving, healing patience. I don’t have to talk about it. I don’t have to preach it or to teach it. I just have to embody this.
The day all this happened, I found myself sandwiched between two overloaded shopping carts in a line at Wal-Mart. The man ahead of me was angry at the cashier and scared her, and she was threatening to call the cops, and in fact had gone to fetch her manager. One aisle over was a very unhappy crying child, and her young mother was sniffing at the younger baby in her cart to see if the diaper needed changing. I looked at these people. I thought how hard this moment must be for them. And I remembered God. And I held that memory in that place. I don’t know that it got better, but it did not get worse, and on my way out, I wished the cashier a better day than she was having.
This is a power we all have to bless our life, wherever we are.