This week, I finished the book Lessons in Chemistry (Bonnie Garmus) & I loved it. I also read news stories of horror & atrocity. I watched basketball games. I set up a playpen. I took down the playpen. I went for walks. I laid on my office floor in despair. I wrote. I deleted. I cringed. I cheered.
In these complicated times where we know so much, how do we respond? How do we make sense of it all? “Unprecedented” is the new norm. Overwhelm is the standard.
Life is disorienting. Suffering & injustice are as old as time, and are not prohibitors to joy, hope, & love. But, how do we reorient ourselves when so many of us have different baselines for how to proceed with meaning, purpose, value, growth? What do we do with our rage, our confusion, our nuance, our fatigue? What do we do with our weariness?
My Internet Friend™️, Dustin, an actor/model/composer/multi-hyphenate-creative shared this week a perfect reflection on how he’s learning to respond: Stop. Pray. Create.
For me, prayer is an orienting act, but it may not be yours. One thing that is truly common among us, though, is our physical being in this world, so here is an adaptation.
Stop reading, stop scrolling, stop absorbing. Turn off my earbuds. Take a beat.
Use my five senses to connect with what is real, what is tangible, what is in my own lived life, right in front of me. The breath in my lungs, the wind on my face. The taste of the pear, the scent of the bread.
We spend a lot of time with 1s and 0s, but we are alive. The things we can see, touch, hear, & experience in our physical, immediate world are real and they are grounding.
Write a poem, make a meal, smile at a stranger. Take a photo, call a friend, knit a scarf. And, know that I am adding! Creating is not limited to fine art or crafts. It’s simply adding to the world, rather than consuming others’ additions.
One thing I know is true: small steps matter. What we do matters. What you do matters. Each of our lives changes history! Maybe not for the entire world, maybe we don't affect the cultural consciousness... But, for ourselves, for the ones around us, we're making history.