A beached whale is what I felt like, pretty much, yesterday ((of course I have no idea how a beached whale really feels…or a non-beached one, for that matter!?))
I could not drag myself out of bed – well, except to eat, eventually … I was “well enough” to do that.
I did not
- go for a walk
- clean up my messy kitchen
- go out & buy the necessary groceries for a salad I planned to make & take to a potluck dinner to which I’d been invited
- write or type up any of the many items I had planned to write/type
- do any of the 5 or 6 pressing personal, administrative tasks on my ever-burgeoning “to-do” list
Just being honest here, okay?
Not my very finest day ever.
Ultimately (& not too surprisingly) I skipped the potluck, drank 2 beers & ate chips for supper, polished off a Jodi Picoult novel, & resorted, eventually, to a few episodes of ‘Better Call Saul’ on Netflix.
A dear friend called me around 9 pm, & we had a good yak about the (horrifying) state of the world & how we're managing to cope with same
& it was she (I think) who said it sounded like I was feeling like a beached whale, & that I should absolutely not beat myself up for feeling that way.
That was good to hear, since I kinda do beat myself up for having these kinds of moods.
I am pretty convinced that staying connected is the single most important thing any of us can do right now (&, well, at any time), & although I could not muster the energy to go out to the potluck dinner across town, I did feel grateful to know that I have this group of (fellow activist) friends – as well as the friend who called me. Blessed am I, indeed, in having good connections with family/friends/colleagues.
For sure, I am finding the state of the world pretty horrifying – more so by the day, & sometimes, I must admit, it makes me regret a little all the awful truths I’ve learned along the way about how the world really works (the human world, I mean) … in these 60+ years of living on Planet Earth, & the 30+ years of being a truth-learning activist.
I occasionally have the thought that I’ve eaten far too much from “the tree of knowledge” – though to be clear, I do not adhere at all to the Biblical teachings & Christian beliefs my family (supposedly) practiced when I was a child… nor do I, to be perfectly frank here, have very much patience at all with organized religion in general, anymore.
But the idea of the “tree of knowledge” from “the Garden of Eden” is a compelling image, or metaphor – & I do think we humans took a very nasty detour away from a life-enhancing mode of living about 10,000 years ago, when we (not all humans, of course; some chose to stick to hunting/gathering) chose to abandon the hunting/gathering (gathering/hunting, if you prefer) lifestyle to which we had adhered over millennia.
The intervening 10,000 or so years of patriarchal planet-raping, war-waging & relentless assaults on the natural world (as well as on any fellow humans who “stood in the way of Progress”) have not led us to anywhere any truly intelligent creature would have really wanted to wind up…
had we been inclined to be rather more long-term in our ways of thinking.
But we were not / are not / did not
& now, #HereWeAre … hmmmm?
It’s all just a little more than I can easily stomach...
Grief is surely a reasonable response to a shit-kicking like the shit-kicking we’re all now in the very midst of either witnessing, being subjected to (that would be all of us) – or administering (I suppose that’s all of us too, though some of us are considerably more in charge of administering the really horrific planet/people-destroying acts & damage)…
& so, I don’t need to apologize for my occasional “beached whale” days.
As I read in a blog posting called 'Bearing Witness' from 2014
“Agreeing to walk through our grief honestly can be a catalyst for creative defiance and undaunted dissent. It is perhaps the only resistance we can offer to the insistence of apathy imposed on us from the wraiths on Wall Street and Madison Avenue. The unnatural barriers they have erected to mask our humanity crumble in the rancid pile they deserve when a soul is set free to grieve. It is in grief that we find ourselves to be inseparable from each other, and from the nature from which we are all born. In this way, sorrow is the only coherent answer to extinction. It is a wail of conscience.”
- Grieving is normal
- Grieving is acceptable
- Grieving is healthy
No apology required!
p.s. Grief is also very messy. Neat & orderly & predictable, it is not! (for the record, I did not create this graphic - but I sure do find it helpful!)
p.p.s. a few previous postings on the topic of sadness/grief on this blog can be found here:
- Sad (July 2017)
- Thanksgiving (Dec. 2016)
- Grief: Conversations (December 2015)
- an even longer list of grief-related postings can be found in the Collections posting.
The 1st & 3rd provide plenty of suggested, helpful resources on dealing openly & honestly with grief.