“And if we can’t face up to our own vulnerability and ultimate mortality, we sure can’t do it on behalf of the planet, which is as fragile in our hands as it has ever been.”
~ Wendy Willis
I’ve been avoiding words just as I’ve been avoiding responsibility.
A while ago I had year that started with a breast cancer diagnosis (Jan 6, 2014) and ended with the death of my father (Jan 8, 2015). After that, I gave myself some time off from responsibilities.
I haven’t posted here much. I took a big break from volunteering. I gave myself vacation from writing elected officials about causes local and national (with a few important exceptions). I cut myself some slack when my wanderlust took priority over running a business. I traveled, ate well, and played hard. It was a well-needed respite that allowed me to focus on self-care. And I spent good, quality time following my heart, so that’s a plus.
But now it’s nearly 2017!!!!
No apologies for taking that time. But, geez, how much time do I really need? The cancer was cleaned up and gone by July 2016; my mourning has progressed through all of the stages. Yet, I sit; still stifled when it comes to making a difference in the lives of others.
There’s no worse time in my life, than now, to be on a sabbatical from advocacy and action. Now more than ever my heart wants peace for the world. But, violence, racism, environmental degradation seem to be at my lifetime’s high. I see so many strong and articulate people standing up for their rights and the earth’s rights. Yet with the luxury of my white privilege, I froze; I have done little to help the state of human rights or the planet nor have I offered direct support to those on the front lines of positive change.
I imagine the paralysis I’m experiencing comes from a feeling similar to what I’d feel walking into a hoarder’s home tasked with tidying up: I can’t do it all, I need help, I don’t know where to start. Ironic, as I know it is my privilege that allows me to pause and ask for help rather than respond immediately with action. A friend tells me, ” acknowledging one’s privilege is a huge step actually and having the humility to not know the way forward is ok too.” Hmm, I’ll think about that…
This dear friend also sent me this article, “Unbuttoned Into the Blow” by Wendy Willis which I hope you’ll read. It’s a remarkable piece speaking to me and how I might start moving forward. Thank you K for putting this before my eyes and giving me an attainable action in working towards equity and peace: sharing that article with my readers.
The heart that’s gathered strength in the past year is the same heart I need to call on now. That strength helps me balance my fragility with my responsibilities. I am going to let it guide me. I’m confident it can push me to face my responsibilities. I plan on trusting it to get me engaged. And I do trust it to do that immediately. I can feel it beginning to thaw my frozen activist’s soul.
I know dear readers that you’ve come to this blog for bits about nature: photos and musings. I do hope you’ll stick with me as I speak out a bit, advocating for respect and love for all things…well, maybe that is after all also a bit about nature.