When I woke up this morning, I felt the heaviness of the news around the world. It seems a time of unusual anxiety, wars going viral, environmental catastrophes creating suffering of immense proportions. I also feel the weight of my pain. Pain that is on such a micro, individual level. Ya, it's personal. I own it. It affects other around me, no doubt, but I own it. I feel it. We're friends. Today, being the first day of spring, I pushed a little harder, like the brand new violet crocus that exploded through melting snow and heavy mulch. I pulled the shades wide open, got the coffee going, and turned on my computer. My opening page is a site called Happy News. That is what I need to see first thing when I turn on my computer. Will and Kate, the Happy News site says, they are asking wedding guests, all 1,900 of them to donate money to 26 charities they have selected. Well, that is good news. I need that filter from the overwhelming disaster kind of news.
I check in with my companion, "pain" each day, just to see where we're at. I make my assessment, take my medication, do a round of tai chi to balance my energy and get the chi flowing. Sometimes it is so intense, that I cry. The flow of energy connects me to my pain, to the pain of the universe, and to the beauty in my little world, and to the beauty that still reminds me that this planet gives us lots of second chances.
At the state park where I walk I find a new memorial bench. The benches are parked like gravestones all along the trails. You can tell the old ones from the new. The new benches have fresh, unweathered wood with shiny brass plaques. The older ones are gray and musty, sometimes splintered with missing bolts. Today, I am compelled to read the new ones. I know someone died recently, and the honor of memorializing them with a bench in their favorite surroundings must be quite healing for those still here. The new brass plate has a quote by Renoir. "The Pain Passes but the Beauty Remains." I needed that quote to find me today. I remember a bench from a few years back- the man who died was young and a long distance runner. His shoes were left on the bench and people were invited to put on his shoes and take them for a run. I wonder if the shoes recognized that an old friend was taking them for a spin, or perhaps a curious stranger wanted to get to know this man through the countless miles he spent in such experienced shoes. There was a box full of letters from friends, close family members, a very poignant one from a teen-aged daughter, and a guy who took the shoes for a run. It was there for all to read and to know this spirited person who likely ran mile after mile on the trails of the kettle morraine state forest. After reading a few notes and contemplating the beat up shoes, I discovered this man was a generous soul, who managed to share his love of nature through a pair of ragged shoes and stories from loved ones left behind, and those just passing through.
I think that a lot these days. Pain is with me, but together we are passing through. We're not missing the beauty. Sometimes pain and beauty do just fine together.
Peace, Healing, Humor.
☀ spring has sprung, feed the baby fish please