Wow. 2016 seems to be the year that snatches so many of our luminaries away from us. Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher within the last 36 hours along with Vera Rubin (astronomy). The funnest comment I've seen is David Bowie has created his own alternate universe and is selectively populating it one person at a time. (credit: twitter)
There is a lot of grief in the air.
When I was younger, pregnant with my first child (who is 23 now), my mom had her second bout with breast cancer. She lost the fight while I was still pregnant. Significantly, since I was doing all the things expectant parents do, I did not take the time to really grieve. It was years later that I was able to finally let go and experience my grief all the way to my toes. By experiencing the true grief, I reclaimed my relationship with my mother.
I know that sounds odd. But working through the bottlenecked emotions allowed me to see her as a real person. The thing that finally uncorked the bottle, so to speak, was participating in a retreat full of ritual.
I am wondering if we all need a release ritual for 2016? And by "wondering," I mean, we all need a release ritual for 2016. period. endstop.
The Atlantic has an article about grief and personal ritual. The researchers behind their article write:
When Norton and Gino probed deeper into the emotional and mental lives of their research subjects, they found that rituals help people overcome grief by counteracting the turbulence and chaos that follows loss. Rituals, which are deliberately-controlled gestures, trigger a very specific feeling in mourners—the feeling of being in control of their lives. After people did a ritual or wrote about doing one, they were more likely to report thinking that “things were in check” and less likely to feel “helpless,” “powerless,” and “out of control.”
What ritual would help you move out of 2016 into a new year? Burning a calendar? Creating a collage of all the luminaries who passed and releasing it? Blowing bubbles for each memory? Throwing rocks into the living waters of the earth?
In SoulCollage(R), we create community cards using collage. Cards that represent the people that surround us on our journey. It can be family and friends but it can also be people we were particularly attached to. Like Carrie Fisher. Or Prince. Or Harper Lee. I can definitely see myself creating a General Organa card.
I can also see myself burning a representation of my ballot. There's a lot of grief around that. We are limited only by our imagination!
What will you do to process your grief?
Today's practice brings music from De La Soul, a poem from Yehuda HaLevi, and a quote from Anne Lamott. This is followed by readings from the Jewish and Christian lectionaries, the Qur'an, and the Buddhist tradition. And as always, we have our BIBOLOVE practice from Soyinka Rahim. (BIBO = Breathe In, Breathe Out). Our prayers for this week focus on Ghana and Nigeria.
Let my heart rise up to meet mercy, my voice to meet compassion, my hands to meet action.
BIBOLOVE: Breath In, Breath Out--shhh
Memory of Us by De La Soul
Tis a Fearful Thing by Yehuda HaLevi (1075 – 1141)
‘Tis a fearful thing
to love what death can touch.
A fearful thing
to love, to hope, to dream, to be –
And oh, to lose.
A thing for fools, this,
And a holy thing,
a holy thing
For your life has lived in me,
your laugh once lifted me,
your word was gift to me.
To remember this brings painful joy.
‘Tis a human thing, love,
a holy thing, to love
what death has touched.
Curated from http://elliesway.org/poems/?gclid=CKqWp6TpmdECFRaTfgod_zMEKA
Jewish Daily Reading: Daily Study from Chabad
Christian Daily Reading: Revised Common Lectionary Daily Reading
Muslim Daily Reading: Daily Verse from The Only Quran
Buddhist Daily Reading: Daily Zen
Please bring your own sacred readings to the daily pattern. If there is something else you'd like to see, let me know!
“You will lose someone you can’t live without,and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”
― Anne Lamott
Weekly prayer focus comes from the World Council of Churches prayer cycle. We know the world needs to be surrounded with prayer and positive thought. This allows us to work through the world country by country. We focus on one set of countries per week with the same prayer, lifting them up.
Focus countries: Ghana and Nigeria
Let us pray.
We know that we fail to live up to being makers of peace. Let us bring in rather than push out, be invitational rather than confrontational--seeing signs of life while decrying the desecration of hope.
For signs of hope and peace, we pray for
- Christians and Muslims who take risks to work for dialogue and reconciliation between the two faith communities.
- Talking drums and rattles.
- Ama Atta Aidoo, Wole Soyinka, Ken Saro-Wiwa and others who tell good stories from an African context.
- Fufu, yams, cassava and peanuts.
For the oppressed and weary, we pray for
- The curtailment of deforestation.
- A more just distribution of wealth and power.
- Just and peaceful relations between members of different ethnic groups and between Muslims and Christians.
- An end to human rights abuses against minority groups.
- Those who suffer from malnutrition and diseases such as malaria, whooping cough and HIV and AIDS.
- Better stewardship of the environment and natural resources.
For those we love, those we hate and those we are indifferent to
For the transformation from ME to WE
Let peace prevail on earth.
So may it be.
Translation by Neil Douglas Klotz, Sufi
O Birther! Creator of the Cosmos,
Focus your light within us— make it useful:
Create your reign of unity now-
Your one desire then acts with ours,
as in all light, so in all forms.
Grant what we need each day in bread and insight.
Loose the cords of mistakes binding us,
as we release the strands we hold of others’ guilt.
Don’t let surface things delude us,
But free us from what holds us back.
From you is born all ruling will,
the power and the life to do,
the song that beautifies all,
from age to age it renews.
Truly— power to these statements—
may they be the ground from which all
my actions grow: Amen.
May Peace Prevail on Earth. Amen. So mote it be.