anitalorrainemoore

Musician devoted to Justice, Creativity, and Courage


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TuesDayNewsDay Vol 2, Issue 12 ~ September 15, 2020

TuesDayNewsDay Vol 2, Issue 12 ~ September 15, 2020

Dedication: today’s Tuesday Newsday is dedicated to Jonathan Byrd. Back in 2002, I worked for a man named Gary. Gary lost someone dear to him and I accompanied him to the funeral. I didn’t know who Jonathan Byrd was at that time, however upon hearing him sing at this funeral, I knew he was very special. I don’t actually remember who it was that it passed, but I remember hearing Jonathan sing. Maybe that’s messed up of me, maybe it’s just my normal human brain… more attuned to music.

Here and now, sitting up on the banks of the Haw River, many years later, I have the privilege and opportunity to share my music with Jonathan Byrd and his amazing audience tomorrow night. Only a few people know of my goals, because I don’t share them often, but one of my goals for this year was to sing for Jonathan Byrd‘s weekly residency, The Shake Sugaree Jonathan Byrd and the Pickup Cowboys show hosted by The Kraken, our local dive bar. I actually wrote it down on a piece of paper with my other goals… A few of months ago, I ran into Jonathan while waiting to perform for the John Prine tribute. Due to Covid, it’s kind of not cool to hug people, but later I expressed to him and several others that I wish I could’ve given out hugs. That was the first time I had been around a whole bunch of people for several weeks. Jonathan said that he wished he would’ve been able to hear me sing, and without a beat, I said, “well maybe I could sing for your show one day…” thinking way into the future, maybe on the ground, in real life, post Covid. After a few agonizing minutes of waiting for his response via Facebook messenger, he responded, “Can you do July 25?”. I was flabbergasted because I half expected him to say no. No, you don’t have an album and I really don’t want to host someone who can’t have something to showcase… No you can’t perform, for some other piddly reason my mind made up for me… But he said yes and I am so excited.

In my excitement, I reached out to my friend Spencer who is also one of the videographers for Jonathan‘s weekly show. I love Spencer and he also said yes to play those videos with me. What a treat!? Spencer is an amazing songwriter. His voice is captivating and his musical talents soar out of this world.

So tomorrow night, at 7 o’clock when the show begins, join me on Facebook as I will be starting a watch party for people to watch it with me. There will be two videos of my own songs in between the many amazing sets of Jonathan Byrd and the Pickup Cowboys’ music. I’m stoked and honored. One of the songs is a product of Jonathan’s song writing workshop. I recommend it to anyone who likes to write songs!

Quote: “Jump, and the lily pad will appear.” This quote was on a friend’s mom’s fridge and it’s etched into my memory. Perhaps that is what I did when I asked Jonathan to sing for his show…

Song: The Sea and the Sky, this is one of my favorite Jonathan Byrd songs. https://jonathanbyrd.bandcamp.com/track/the-sea-and-the-sky

Dear Humans,

Thank you so much for supporting me during this musical journey. I don’t have much to say this evening, I have been teaching and organizing and protesting for the last several months. We have much work to do in this world to make it a better place, I know I am doing my small part. I hope you enjoy the show tomorrow! Thank you Jonathan for having me, I look forward to enjoying your music and reminiscing about the past in hopes of a future that includes dancing at the Kraken.

Love,

ALM

JByrd blog for this week: http://www.jonathanbyrd.com/blog/2020/9/7/dancing-ovation


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TuesDay NewsDay Vol 3, Issue 9 – July 14, 2020

Dedication: The Migrant Farmers, The Gardeners, The Land Cultivators – Those who feed us all. We must remember from where our food and sustenance come, for we are nothing without the land – we exist on stolen soil and call it private property with arbitrary borders bound to arbitrary power – we can start acknowledging from there and create a discourse together, from now on.

“Farm workers thin lettuce crops work in in San Luis, Arizona. (AP Photo/Paul Connors), (AP Photo/Paul Connors) ‘Living in crowded dorms with no space to quarantine the sick, farm laborers are “petrified.”'” –

This is also dedicated to my best friend Maggie and my dear friend Harry who feeds our community and themselves and are exemplary humans I am honored to know and call friends.

Maggie (right) with Helen (left) – those are some sweet potatoes

Quote: “Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.” Mary Oliver and subsequently, “When large slices of the demos feel as if their voice is not being heard, they feel helpless, impotent and turn on themselves and turn on each other… Every generation is wrestling what it means to be human and how one takes democracy seriously, and has to accent the underside of their present moment, in light of the past, to ensure that the future can be a little bit better, maybe even qualitatively better than the present.” Dr. Cornel West

Song: For the dreamers: Somewhere Over The Rainbow ~ the divine, Ms. Sarah Vaughan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=389fPqjTi9M

Dear Humans: Today is Tuesday and I have felt like a flapping fish out of water (forgot to take my medicine… Captain Distracto… Passionate Multi-Tasker… Obsessive Student… Crazed Teacher… Mad Artist! I am teaching, was accepted into a graduate level 5-week intensive class “Teaching for Black Lives”, standing daily on the street corner with my sign, highlighting police brutality with my neighbors, falling in love with myself and my Spiritual path, doing some yoga, making friends with dedication, making art, reading tarot cards, making matchbooks and frequenting the post office. I have amazing news. On Wednesday, the 29th, I’ll be performing 2 of my songs as the virtual half-time guest of Jonathan Byrd and the Shake Sugaree Global Pandemic Live Stream. I cannot even begin to describe what an honor this is. I’ve been listening to Jonathan Byrd since I was 23… I’m 37… that’s a long time!

Love to everyone, I’d wax poetic here about everything into which I’ve been diving, but I’ll spare you and share another quote of Dr. Cornel West, “Democracy is like the art form of jazz: You better find your voice, accent your individuality in community so you can contribute to the high quality of the collective performance.
Find your voice!
Each citizen: dig deep into the precincts of your soul and examine the suburbs of your voice and find your voice and get it out, not just your self-interest but your voice that balances enlightened self-interest and public interest and the public good. (We aren’t just talking about votes in Florida..).” 2014, Dr. Cornel West speaks at University of Washington

This week in pictures:

My reading from this morning.
Yesterday at the magic rock, a skipper says “Good morning!”
Me on the magic rock yesterday and I say, “Dang, this pen is dead. I must go to the car and retrieve another one.”

Upcoming shows: Every Tuesday at 8:30 – live on Instagram and Facebook! ❤

This Thursday on Facebook, live John Prine Tribute called “Souvenirs” , recorded live at the Cat’s Cradle: https://www.facebook.com/events/3112393915542674?__mref=mb

July 29th – Shake Sugaree Residency with Jonathan Byrd (OMGGGODDESS!) https://www.facebook.com/events/671491593707052

Just sayin’


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TuesDay NewsDay Vol 3, Issue 8 – July 7, 2020

…the day I decided to marry my Spirituality. What a charm!

Original artwork, Owl and Monarch, Moon and Sun

Dedication: I dedicate this TuesDay NewsDay to Athene, Goddess of Justice. I intend to honor her in shining my light. There is no reason for me to hide it. I have been too concerned with worrying about others’ thoughts and less about how I show up in this world. No longer!! Athene carries upon her shoulder a white owl reflecting her clarity of vision – it can see and hunt in the dark. She was born from Zeus’ head after he tried to prevent her birth by eating her mother, Metis, Goddess of Wisdom. Can’t keep THIS one from shining her light. Nope. Her convictions are birthed from pursuit of truth and the recognition that there must be a battle to uphold truth with logic, diplomacy and creativity. Her weapons as gifts to the likes of Odysseus and Perseus always had to be used with intelligence, foresight and planning. She was chaste. She valued service over personal desire and put principles over passions – the mind has the ability to make choices upon reflection, mastering instincts. Athene blessed and “rendered valuable service to mankind. She taught the art of taming horses, and fostered skills and crafts such as weaving and embroidery. Her activities were concerned not only with useful work, but with artistic creation as well.” She nurtured warriors who protected peace. (Quoted and paraphrased from the Tarot card Justice of the Mythic Tarot, by Juliet Sharman-Burke and Liz Green) I pulled this card today in a “present-time” spread which threw my jaw to the ground and kept it there the whole time.

Quote:

Song: Cakewalk – by Taj Mahal – (One of my favorite songs of all time and reflects how good I feel today. ❤ “Throw your big leg over me mama, I might not feel this good again…” (But I will. Promise)

Dear Humans: Wow. What an insane time to be alive! What a blessing to see all the ruckus going on in this world – the bravery and passion of people standing up in the streets against police brutality and racism. Bigotry of all kinds! Your time is up! Your number has been disconnected! Your mother has just arrived at the party and you’re being pulled out by your ears while drunk on the power you thought you had, but you don’t. Not anymore! It was an illusion! Of course, I know it won’t go down without a fight. The fight is coming. I feel privileged to be part of it.

I feel grateful to be a teacher in these times. I feel honored and blessed to have a voice, a platform, and musical and artful proclivities. Thank you to all of you out there who have gifted me with your love and support (financial and the gifts of your time) through all this. Musicians the world over are having to get creative, even more-so than before, to make ends meet. I’m so glad to have my teaching job (though teachers make pennies compared to the work they do).

This week, as mentioned before, is the beginning of my 30-day yoga challenge. Today is day 5. After I finish writing this, I will be doing my next video. (Yoga By Adriene – look her up on youtube. You’re welcome) I’m so proud of myself. That is not something I have said very much… reflecting on my life. I am exercising healthy boundaries, discerning what feels good and doesn’t, and exploring how to ease into things that feel difficult at first.

Have you ever challenged yourself to do something you’ve felt guilty for NOT doing for years? This time, I wrote down my dedication (see two blog posts back if you want to read it). I deduced WHY this objective and goal is important. In order to show up as the passionate and compassionate singing teacher warrior I know I can be, I have to make sure the vessel in which I occupy is healthy. I have to make sure my Spirit is healthy. I have to re-parent the little kid inside me who is afraid of failing, who is angry at injustice cause she knows how that feels, and who wants to play and make art all the time (she never got to really play and was always older than she should’ve been growing up). Right now, for the first time, there is beginning to be integration between my body, mind, and Spirit. Holy cow. The Tarot spread I had today basically described my current situation to a T. Here’s the story I read from those cards:

I am the young adventurer on a mission with a vision (2 of Wands). The vision is the King of Wands who has mastered the power to manifest vision with creative imagination. I am supported by Athene (Justice card) and need to devote to her my honor – she is the Spirit embodying my self-knowledge. Her chastity gives birth to artistic creativity in service to the greater good and fostering peace with ethical implementation. I know who I am and have the potential to be through her wisdom and devotion to truth and justice. This vision is possibly blocked by choices of the flesh and perceived worldly power over my Spirit. (Lovers card – reversed). I am making choices in real life – at this moment I am choosing Lady Justice – my values are being tested. I have a choice between love or a sacred, creative activity at this time. I believe Love IS my sacred, creative activity now. Every time I make art, seek out truth and teach my students how, and when I work for justice, I am praying a literal prayer of activism and devotion. At this time, I must look carefully at the implications of my choices in the past. Heartache, physical pain and ill heath are old love. Creative Spirit is new love.

I must wait in my romantic relationship realm (The Hanged Man) and make the voluntary sacrifice for my own best interest (to see through to the achievement of this vision). After the Wheel of Fortune’s challenge of fate, I must use the lesson of the Hanged Man, understanding and willingness to put trust in the Unseen – knowing there will be anxieties yet, also knowing it will all be okay. I must marry my Spirit (10 of Cups). This decision augers ongoing emotional contentment and permanence in the realm of the heart. Psyche marries Eros; gives this creature wings to fly. I will withstand any challenge offered by Life. I no longer need to hide my Love. I can let my love light shine. Take heed, (7 of Pentacles reversed) I am making a choice. I can either reject something Divinely inspired or choose security and safety and risk mundane perpetuity. This decision comes to every person who attempts to manifest creative energy. Also take heed, (9 of Cups – reversed) REMEMBER that everything has been done up to now in loyalty to your inner feeling values. This moment is fulfillment of your wish – self-validation, from your commitment to your inner-development. Do not forget how far you have come. This is a reward for your efforts. You may find yourself underwater, but remember and be grateful, you can still breathe, magically, and despite the odds.

At the heart of my journey lies my biggest inner strengths, resilience and positivity through chosen, constructive nostalgia. (6 of Cups) Through turmoil, I have the capability to be at peace with myself. I am cultivating that power at this very moment. From hardship, there are positive, good memories for which to be grateful and from them I gain knowledge of myself. There is stillness and serenity in the lessons of the past and I choose that serenity and stillness, that solemn honoring which sprouts from life’s disappointments and pain. From those experiences, I have the capabilities to move on with resolve and reflection.

Believe in your vision enough to try, these messages say clearly. Firmly grip the fire of imagination and go forth with the hands of Spirit and Love at your back and the temple of Justice upholding you from below.

Present time spread, The Mythic Tarot

This week in pictures:

Focus…. 11:11

Message found on another protest poster. On point.

Protesting safely…

Are you the only one who can resist fascist liars? NOPE! Be a leader!

Pepita’s preferred yoga position… cat

After dancing in circles outside in a downpour and eating blueberries…

Morning joyful walk

Mmmmmm crunchy sunflower butter and bloobz on toast…

Shift in perspective…

Upcoming gigs: Next Tuesday! 8:30 Livestream on Insta and Facebook (my FB anitalorrainemusic page)


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TuesDay NewsDay Vol 3, Issue 4 – March 17, 2020

Hey yall, It’s Tuesday.  The Earth turned into the Sun again today.  The clouds parted so that we may feel the warmth of that Sun too.  For those things and more, I am hella grateful.  Please see the passage below.  I am re-reading this little book called Practicing Peace and it speaks to every ounce of what is happening in the world right now and how we can all choose to evolve through these times.  Pema on Racial Injustice

Dedication: To everyone. All the people. All the animals. All the plants. All the Spirits.

Quote:  Practicing Peace by Pema Chödrön.  “War begins when we harden our hearts, and we harden them easily— in minor ways and then in quite serious, major ways, such as hatred and prejudice—whenever we feel uncomfortable. It’s so sad, really, because our motivation in hardening our hearts is to find some kind of ease, some kind of freedom from the distress that we’re feeling. Someone once gave me a poem with a line in it that offers a good definition of peace: “softening what is rigid in our hearts.” We can talk about ending war and we can march for ending war, we can do everything in our power, but war is never going to end as long as our hearts are hardened against each other.

What happens is a chain reaction, and I’d be surprised if you didn’t know what I’m talking about. Something occurs—it can be as small as a mosquito buzzing—and you tighten. If it’s more than a mosquito—or maybe a mosquito is enough for you—something starts to shut down in you, and the next thing you know, imperceptibly the chain reaction of misery begins: we begin to fan the grievance with our thoughts. These  thoughts become the fuel that ignites war. War could be that you smash that little teensy-weensy mosquito. But I’m also talking about war within the family, war at the office, war on the streets, and also war between nations, war in the world.

We often complain about other people’s fundamentalism. But whenever we harden our hearts, what is going on with us? There’s an uneasiness and then a tightening, a shutting down, and then the next thing we know, the chain reaction begins and we become very righteous about our right to kill the mosquito or yell at the person in the car or whatever it might be. We ourselves become fundamentalists, which is to say we become very self-righteous about our personal point of view.

…The next time you get angry, check out your righteous indignation, check out your fundamentalism that supports your hatred of this person, because this one really is bad—this politician, that leader, those heads of big companies. Or maybe it’s rage at an individual who has harmed you personally or harmed your loved ones. A fundamentalist mind is a mind that has become rigid. First the heart closes, then the mind becomes hardened into a view, then you can justify your hatred of another human being because of what they represent and what they say and do.

…If you look back at history or you look at any place in the world where  religious groups or ethnic groups or racial groups or political groups are killing each other, or families have been feuding for years and years, you can see—because you’re not particularly invested in that particular argument— that there will never be peace until somebody softens what is rigid in their heart. So it’s necessary to take a big perspective on your own righteousness and your own fundamentalism when it begins to kick in and you think your own aggression and prejudice are reasonable.

I try to practice what I preach; I’m not always that good at it but I really do try. The other night, I was getting hard-hearted, closed-minded, and fundamentalist about somebody else, and I remembered this expression that you can never hate somebody if you stand in their shoes. I was angry at him because he was holding such a rigid view. In that instant I was able to put myself in his shoes and I realized, “I’m just as riled up and self-righteous and closed minded about this as he is. We’re in exactly the same place!” And I saw that the more I held on to my view, the more polarized we would become, and the more we’d be just mirror images of one another—two people with closed minds and hard hearts who both think they’re right, screaming at each other. It changed for me when I saw it from his side, and I was able to see my own aggression and ridiculousness.

Image result for pema chodronIf you could have a bird’s-eye perspective on the Earth and could look down at all the conflicts that are happening, all you’d see are two sides of a story where both sides think they’re right. So the solutions have to come from a change of heart, from softening what is rigid in our hearts and minds.”

Practicing Peace Mini-Book PDF

 

Song: I Want To Be Here – by Neko Case, here’s the video Bruce and I played for today with this song, recorded by my awesome roommate, Andrea. InstaVideoSongPost

Dear Humans,

The excerpt from above means a lot to me.  I wish I could somehow transfer this sentiment of softening our hearts to every human on this planet.  Some people know this already, but some people don’t and would never agree… so we’d have to sneak it in while they were sleeping.  We could send a little whisper of Love into their ears via magic fairy dust or something they couldn’t successfully shake out or wash off in the morning.  I don’t have much to say that Pema didn’t already about all that’s happening out there in the world.  I wish everyone rest and a calm heartbeat.  I wish everyone food in their bellies and enough resources to provide for what they need.  I wish for marginalized people to have some peace of mind and heart.  I wish those in power would use it for the betterment of society instead of to its detriment.  I wish for people’s hearts to soften and to feel what it is that could truly save this world, Love.  (and 6 feet of temporary personal space…)  Goodnight y’all.

 

 


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Conundrum…

I was just on the phone with my grandmother.

She told me that my mother wants to donate a thousand dollars to my album fundraiser.  The only thing she wants in return is her own copy.  That was the last thing I expected to be thinking about tonight.  I told Maw Maw that I’d have to think about it.  There are several reasons why I need to think about it and Becky Miller’s voice just popped into my head as I think about them… I feel surprised.  I feel nauseous.  I feel trepidatious.  I think she doesn’t know what she’s getting into.  There’s only one real reason for all this fear, Darlene.   Darlene will smack my mother in the face via song.  I don’t want my music to hurt anyone, but Darlene has fighting gloves, armor and a helmet she wears around my mother.  Darlene is a force.  Darlene is fierce.  Darlene is both scared and strong.

Becky Miller said to me once, “You are not responsible for how someone else reacts to your truth. You are only responsible for being honest about who you are.”  I can’t control how my mother reacts to this.  I am nervous she’ll hate it.  I am scared she’ll sue me for non-support.  I’m afraid she’ll deny it and make me out to be the bad guy.

Tonight, for the first time, I read the lyrics to Darlene to my grandmother.  I could barely get through the song, reading it more like a poem.  I was choking up and holding back tears to be able to pronounce the words clearly enough so she could understand what I was saying.  At the end (I was grateful I made it through), she was quiet.  I had no idea what she was going to say.  I asked her, “You there?” and she answered, “Yes, I’m here.  That brought on a few tears. Your Paw Paw’s going to like that.”

So here I am, back to wondering if I should accept the money and give her a record, if I should accept the money and not give her a record, or if I should just reject the whole idea. The brave little one inside of me is afraid that her mother will judge her and hate her even more.  You see, in May of 2002, she called me from jail. She’d been arrested for not taking care of her children (I will spare you the details.).  She used her one phone call to tell me that I ruined her life.  Over the years, she’d called me stupid, lied over and over again, and very nonchalantly said to me when I was seven, “If it happens again, honey, let me know.” after I told her I’d been molested by her boyfriend’s son.  Of course, it happened again, and again, and again.

I don’t think about these things every day, consciously.  However, they color my existence and make me the sparkly person you know today.  I was polished through those moments to become Anita Lorraine, named after both my grandmothers and now have chosen to take my grandfather’s last name, Moore.  Anita Lorraine Moore.

It may take some time to come to a decision on this.  I hope I make a decision that makes the world a better place for us all.  This album is the crux of my inspiration.  Some of my music is happy.  Some is contemplative.  Some is magical.  Some is angry.  Some is broken-hearted.  Darlene, however, is revolutionary and bold.  She is a phoenix.

 

Darlene was raised in two different worlds

One was safe. The other, toil

Darlene paid in the old-time way

Full-grown girl, before she turned eight

 

Her daddy shamed her in the end

Momma left her on her own to fend

She needed love and a place to go

A place she found just a mile or so

 

Grandfather’s hands worked to the bone

Grandmother’s love gave her a home

Grandfather gave her all his pride

Grandmother was her sweetheart’s bride

 

She tried to pray but could not hear

The voice of God within her ear

Darlene knew she couldn’t run

To save herself from his father’s son

She had to freeze, her mind to bend

To save herself from her mother’s men

 

Grandfather came to the rescue

Grandmother was someone she looked up to

Grandfather’s grown into an old man

Grandmother still, she still holds his hand

 

You know Darlene’s not the only one

Children’s tears can’t be undone

But if this truth we refuse to ignore 

This world would change, we would take no more 

 

Darlene learned how to spread her wings

Sang with angels inside her dreams 

Her light shone through the darkest of  nights

Into a song… born of candlelight 

 

We are born fearless

    Named after our kin

 

    Blood and bone

    Show where we’ve been

 

Blood and bone

Show where we’ve been

 

     Blood and bone

     Memories and skin 

If you want to learn more about the fundraiser, visit: Sacred Album Recording Fundraiser 

If you want to see the live video of Darlene, visit here: Darlene Facebook Fundraiser Live Video Series

If you want to share or talk about anything, please send me an email, my door is open: anitalorrainemusic@gmail.com

Please consider donating to my album, 5% of all donations go to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE) in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country.)

Thank you ALL for your support of this music, it means the world to me.
$40 = 1 hour in the studio ~
$5 = gas back and forth to the studio! It all helps.

LOVE,

ALM

 

 


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July 1st… Journal today and Khalil Gibran

Monday… July 1st

Today, right now, I feel peaceful. I am sitting on the couch with my coffee, grey cashmere sweater score from the thrift store, tons of reading material and my ankle propped up on ice. This whole process of surgery and healing has taught me so much I never really understood – how important the pause really is. The caring for your body in a way that reflects that you ACTUALLY care about what happens to it and how it functions. It’s unbelievable to me that I went so long without really taking care of this ankle, or thinking about this at all… the life of childhood sexual abuse survivors perhaps – but I’ll only speak of my own experience. I think back and see so many unspoken, unseen barriers to recognizing the problem. I never want to be that distracted and oblivious again in my life. Therapy, Al-Anon, music, and most of all that Divine resilience spark from somewhere within me (and us all, right?) has put me in this place of submission. I know I’ll be taken care of. What a privileged feeling?

Right now, my mind goes to the families on the border of our country, the refugees trying to find a safe place, a home, the war-torn families of people across this world who truly DON’T know that they’ll be taken care of. Sitting here, I truly don’t know what to do about that. Is there something to be done? Is there nothing to be done? I can’t take on the weight of the world alone. How is it that my conscience (I’m teaching about conscience and morality in my Critical Thinking class this week.) is so heavy from the knowledge of what is happening around me but also the feeling of being incapable of doing anything about it. Is that not the essence of trauma? Am I wrong that everything will be taken care of? Is this a false sense of security in some unseen force? When I have been abused in the past, I didn’t know what to do so I froze and allowed it to happen until is was over and I could escape. Some don’t escape. My escape was in my mind, as my body was being invaded. What of right now? Is my escape the comfort of my mind since there is this seemingly limited amount of impact I can make on the atrocities of this world? (I made 74.50 Friday night performing to send to the Border relief organizations sending lawyers and food/water/proper care to those families.). It seems like so little… I curiously don’t feel shame. That I am proud of, however there is guilt – the healthy spark to do something to rectify wrong-doings comes from guilt. I didn’t create the system in which we live, yet as I live and breath, I benefit and continue to perpetuate its eventuality.

Are we all going through trauma right now, on a cellular and spiritual level right now, if not physical (since it’s all connected)? The world feels to me to be chaotic and mean, and while I sit here with my coffee, it’s hard not to think of all those who are unsafe and literally grasping for their lives.

From therapy, I learned that many truths can be simultaneously existent – the ever-present paradox – the both/and – not simply the limiting either/or. Literally, I believe this is the only mindset which can release me from my own rambling, concerned yet paralyzed state. Also, it’s the only perspective which can shed light on numerous co-existing perspectives of abundance which are hard to see while thinking about the suffering of this world. I never just think about the suffering, I FEEL it. Everyone can. It is impossible not to (even if you are unconscious of it, it impacts you. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.)) – it is all recognizable and at times, insidiously invisible. So why is it that the joys and the love and the light is so hard to absorb and hold? Again, that shift in lens is the antidote for the tunnel vision. A trusting that somehow, those positivities are truly out there in and amongst the negativities. …and if you venture out to the furthest reaches, perhaps those challenges (in hindsight) give us the tools we need to survive.

In an attempt at gross summation and perhaps even over-simplification – maybe we can cradle in our palms these painful knowings and trust that they are providing insights about how to better live, how much more aware I can be to not only see and recognize, but to act upon those recognitions to create a more just world in one fluid, unnoticeable and perpetual movement with the intention of good?

“On Good and Evil” – Kahlil Gibran (I find deep feeling insights every time I open The Prophet.)

“And one of the elders of the city said, Speak to us of Good and Evil. And he answered:

Of the good in you I can speak, but not of the evil.

For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst?

Verily when good is hungry it seeks food even in dark caves, and when it thirsts it drinks even of dead waters.

You are good when you are one with yourself.

Yet when you are not one with yourself, you are not evil.

For a divided house is not a den of thieves; it is only a divided house.

And a ship without rudder may wander aimlessly among perilous isles yet sing not to the bottom.

You are good when you strive to give of yourself.

Yet you are not evil when you seek to gain for yourself.

For when you strive to gain you are but a root that clings to the earth and sucks at her breast.

Surely the fruit cannot say to the root, “Be like me, ripe and full and ever giving of your abundance.”

For to the fruit giving is a need, as receiving is a need to the root.

You are good when you are fully awake in your speech,

Yet you are not evil when you sleep while your tongue staggers without purpose.

And even in the stumbling speech may strengthen a weak tongue.

You are good when you walk to your goal firmly and with bold steps.

Yet you are not evil when you go thither limping.

Even those who limp go not backward.

But you who are strong and swift, see that you do not limp before the lame, deeming it kindness.

You are good in countless ways, and yo are not evil when you are not good,

You are only loitering and sluggard.

Pity that the stags cannot teach swiftness to the turtles.

In your longing for your giant self lies your goodness: and that longing is in all of you. [I am brought to tears at this moment reading this line again.]

But in some of you that longing is a torrent rushing with might to the sea, carrying the secrets of the hillsides and the songs of the forest.

And in others it is a flat stream that loses itself in angles and bends and lingers before it reaches the shore.

But let not him who longs much say to him who longs little, “Wherefore are you slow and halting?”

For the truly good ask not the naked, “Where is your garment.” Nor the house less, “Where has befallen your house?”

Another memory I heard singing in my ears while typing this, “I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch, he said to me, “You must not ask for so much.” I saw a pretty woman leaning in her darkened door, she cried to me, “Hey, why not ask for more? Like a bird on a wire, like a drunk in a midnight choir …I have tried, in my way, to be free.”

– Bird on a Wire, by Leonard Cohen.

Nothing is left unresolved, only momentary feigns of understanding…