How are you? How are you holding up?
At this moment, I’m hiding out with the dogs while movers trudge up and down the stairs loading boxes into a truck. Later this morning, my husband and I will load more boxes into a trailer and later still, we’ll all be driving those boxes either to storage (for another move later this summer) or to where we’ll be staying until that next move.
My thoughts are in disarray inside me.
The house is in disarray below me.
The country is in disarray all around me.
I could easily launch into a litany of the assaults on our civil rights, our human rights, our institutions, our democracy, our free speech, our environment.
But I’m sure you are following along. I’m sure your news and Facebook and Instagram feeds have been bulging with stories and pictures of the immoral and barbaric and abusive family separation policy that is unfolding at our southern border.
I keep feeling called there, to these detentions centers, to Tornillo where a tent city to house these children stolen from their parents is being constructed. I don’t speak Spanish. I’m not a lawyer. I don’t know what I think my going would accomplish. I just want to be there to stand up for what I know is right, to speak out against what I know is wrong, to make something tangible from my outrage by uprooting my body from my regular life to march in the heat saying over and over, Enough.
This is abuse. Every child this happens too will be traumatized. Children like my son who at one, four, six, eight years-old, relied on me to facilitate communication, to make sense of his world, will suffer unimaginable and life-long damage.
I won’t look away. I won’t push it aside.
And. We’re moving today. And again in 6 weeks.
I need and want to show up for myself, for my family, and pack the boxes, load the dishwasher, walk the dogs.
I still, like every one of you, have the business of my life to attend to, which includes self-care, calibrating the balance of what I can take in without dropping all the threads of my life, without disintegrating the ground beneath my feet.
So what have I got for you today?
I think of that Rumi quote, “As you start to walk on the way, the way appears.”
Walk and on the way, lay the bricks that create your path.
Make one brick meditation or whatever helps you gather peace. Let the next one be a phone call to your representatives. Another brick: take the extra few minutes to make your lunch beautiful. Put it on a pretty plate. Eat it sitting down. Notice the colors, the textures, the sensations in your mouth as you chew.
Brick: make a donation to the ACLU. Brick: Walk the dogs. Brick: Go to work.
Brick: Lay your hand against your heart. Human touch activates the mammalian care-giving system which creates a cascade of hormones that counters the physiology of stress and the fight/flight/freeze response.
Log on to this website and find a demonstration near you. Call a friend. Hug your child, your partner, your postman, yourself.
Pay the bills. Gather supplies and send them off to those in need.
Put a peony blossom in bowl. Have an earth-shattering cry. Watch a video of cats being spooked by cucumbers. Read something that riles you up or makes you laugh and transports you to a kinder more hopeful place.
Keep moving. Keep laying those bricks.
Here is a phenomenal list of ways to help fight Family Separation from Dahlia Lithwick and Margo Schlanger.
And for all that is righteous: Register to vote! We can and must make our voices heard in November!