For the last few Fridays, I've been showing up for 90 minutes of guided writing practice. We get a prompt from our teacher, pick up our pens for 10-12 minutes, scribe in silence with a half-dozen other souls tucked into little video squares. Then we read aloud, we witness each other, we celebrate what we love about the words. Often we weep, or laugh. We see things big and small from new perspectives. It was a perfect way to spend part of yesterday morning. I'm sharing here what I wrote, in case it speaks to you where you are. (Our prompt was "I can hear.")
"I can hear the birds and the squirrels listening to the smoke—feeling with their bodies for food and safety. I'm worried about the hummingbirds. Should I freshen the feeder? Or will nectar will become poison in the haze outside?
If I let my attention widen beyond the boundaries of this square inside a square inside a rectangle — my office, my home, the standard 50 x 100 Portland lot — the number of people already displaced is too big to hold. Half a million across the state, under evacuation orders, waiting with bated breath, "go" bags by the door. The size of the whole population of Portland, I heard someone say earlier today. Where will they all go?
If I listen with my own body, the smoke enters. It brings tears to my eyes. If I listen, I hear hearts breaking everywhere.
Deep breaths. Feel the air. Let it in. Let it in. Pray for rain.
Pray, feel, love.
Open the window to grief. Open up. Let it hurt. Let it heal. Let it be. "
Wherever you are, whatever you might be grieving at this time, I'm wishing you well.
Want to read some of my writing about work and work-life fit? Click here.