🌄 The unevenness of hope.

Finding the ground you can hang onto, even when the world is hellbent on throwing endless curveballs.

🎧 The Soundtrack

Listen to this while reading:

✨The Wonderings

Somehow, I've found myself standing in the dark pantry. Sia is blaring through my AirPods, the lyrics of her Move your Body injected directly into my brain.

I let everything go.

I close my eyes and just start moving. My limbs cut through the air in ways that feel foreign to me now.

"Free the beast from its cage,
Free the rage, like an animal."

I feel everything pouring out of me - the pent up frustration and rage and exhaustion. Trying futilely to squeeze new resolve out of fumes. To keep showing up. For everything. For everyone. When it all just feels…unending. Unyielding.

Against the sunny optimism of the cherry blossoms, our city is has returned to stricter restrictions. Family across the country is under full-out lockdown. A close friend and her family is recovering from COVID, a grim reminder the claws of this virus are never far.

But this is a reality all of us have lived over the past year. What’s new is that we are no longer all “in it together”.

It’s the unevenness of hope that is breaking me down.

Over there, I see Instagram images of vaccinated friends giddy with freedom and sunkissed on beach spring breaks. Over here, I’m Facetiming my niece for Easter, not in school or hockey, the two things this kid needs. There, peers posting vaccination cards proudly. Here, my mom still not eligible to get her first jab.

I am happy for you and wildly impatient for me. It is this duality tearing me up inside.

So here I stand in my pantry, eyes closed, swaying, pretending like I'm on some packed dance floor blaring music, mere inches away from other humans moving, perspiring, breathing. Things that are still deemed Dangerous and Not Allowed.

And for four minutes, I can believe it. I can feel my limbs loosen and lighten and let go.

It doesn’t matter that my hands brush up against the granola bars that need to be packed for lunches. Or that I am squeezed between two walls hardly bigger than a closet. Or that I might get busted by a kid at any moment, face filled with certain horror for having a mother that dances out her fears and anxieties in the pantry.

No. None of that matters. What matters is that I have found joy. And hope. On my terms.

I have found a space and a place that feels solid and safe and mine alone. Ready, without judgement or price, without expectation or envy.

And there, I feel my feet, solidly under me. Ready to field the inevitable next curveball.

🔮 The Curiosities

Kindness

by Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.