Many mornings, the radio alarm next to me goes off with devastating news. In a state of grogginess and perma-worry, I have one of three reactions:
1) Smack the snooze button as fast as I can after the first horror reaches my ears
2) Listen while cussing stupidity and greed and entitlement and ignorance and prejudice
3) Remind myself, hand-to-heart, to be a better, kinder, gentler me as I move through my day
Lord-love-a-duck, that last one is hard. Nevertheless, I'm gonna persist the bejesus outta this goal. (I'm going with a calling all angels approach with my word choice in this post.) Because, hello, I mean, Hallelujah, I watched that interview with the Dalai Lama where he said perhaps he won't reincarnate again. I'm not interested in arguing about whether rebirth is possible or simply a nice Buddhist bedtime story where I might make it to a lifetime that I mess up less—I only know I want the embodiment of compassion to keep postponing his journey to Nirvana and hold the door open for the rest of us trying to catch up.
The question: How does one persevere in turbulent times? Personal or global...
Here's where my persistence rubber hits the resistance road: writing. Writing means paying attention, staying alert, bearing witness—the opposite of detaching. I write, therefore I am. Keep calm and write another crummy draft. Fail again and be a better human being. Everything I love about writing, and everything that the writing life requires is covered in this hilarious Facts & Arguments piece by Lee Kvern. Though pre-dawn is probably the best time to stay unplugged.
Perhaps it's time to wake with kirtan again. I love this Krishna Das one.
Get up. Brew coffee. Face the enduring schoolmaster that is the blank page. A space to flail, flop and flounder. A place to invite the necessary angels of tenderness and grace.
Each day offers opportunities to align with the forces of benevolence and perseverance—lights burning bright to help us all find our way in through the dark.
Don't forget to take dance breaks.