Tonight I made a candle for “finishing” with my dear friend Katherine. We sat in her home, drank tea, decorated simple red candles with gold ribbon, and talked about what we wanted, what our futures might hold, what is holding us back. We added orange for joy and openness to the candles. When I got home I sat with my candle and added neroli, ylang ylang, clove, and rose oils to the candle, and carved a heart in the top.
I drew a picture of an anatomical heart, fresh from my anatomy studies with Tammi Sweet. Then I sat down with my candle, an offering of water and Lily of the Valley flower essence (made by Julia Graves) for my ancestors, and garnet (given to me by my teacher Karen Rose), rose quartz, and purple amethyst. Within ten minutes, I knocked over the water, fell off my cushion, and nearly burned my eyelashes off trying to smell my candle.
This is a slow spring, with fits and starts, and the opening of my heart is full of hesitation, mistakes, clumsiness, and doubt. Doing political organizing in this period is similarly urgent but at times stunted, restrained, and full of defeat. Rather than feel put off by this pace, I am working to embrace it. Change is slow, and its power comes in the conflicts we encounter along the way. In treating clients, I am constantly reminding myself to slow down, to listen, to be ok with what seem like set-backs, and to have the patience to avoid attempting to “fix”things right away. These moments of paying attention, of small failures, hiccups, and challenges are the real treasure of life. Our biggest lessons come from injuries, pain, stalls. Without stops along the way, we would have no way of knowing where we are, or how to move forward.
This spring I am inviting myself and all of you to be compassionate with what is slow, and with what is difficult. Its not just that great reward comes from contradiction, but that it is contradiction itself which is the fruit of our being. I’m looking forward to seeing those of you who took the winter for hibernation, and to working on what moves you forward this Spring. For those of you I’ve been fortunate to see all winter, I’m excited to watch what continues to unfold with you.
To the ongoing thaw,
P.S. If you have time, please visit this petition to make sure Governor Cuomo’s bill to restrict prison visitations does not get passed. Visits are crucial for both the families of those incarcerated and incarcerated people themselves.