“We do not want merely to see beauty… we want something else which can hardly be put into words – to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.” – C.S. Lewis
That’s exactly it.
Because I, maybe like you, feel a constant longing. A homesickness. A homesickness for a moment that is, well, more real than this current one. A moment that I don’t feel like I’m waiting for something better to come along. And when I turn away from social media and submerge myself in beauty, either as the fully abiding witness or the creator through the means of what seems like divine design, it feels, well, more real.
Like it’s Thanksgiving. And I’m walking into the house I grew up in for the first time in a long time and everyone’s home and happy to see me.
P.S. I am actually drinking coffee in this photo because I hate it in movies or on TV shows when the cups are so obviously empty.
Walking under the moonlight, just out of reach of the breaking waves on the beach tonight, I thought of my dad.
I was sitting with my parents on this exact stretch of beach about fifteen years ago when I spontaneously stood up to take a walk. I made it about a thousand feet away until I got the feeling that my dad was watching me with his giant binoculars which, if it was during WWII, were powerful enough to spot non-submerged German U-boats for many miles.
What did I do about this?
Obviously the only thing that made sense to do in that moment. I stuck my fist up on in the air without turning around and sent him a long distance middle finger.
And an hour later when I made it back to the spot where my parents were still sitting, my dad starting laughing and I knew he received my message.
I smiled and he called me a “pisser” in his Brooklyn accent. I felt that memory like it was yesterday.
But those thoughts lead to others which also feel like yesterday. Those next thoughts arose in me quickly, beyond my control, and by the time I could see them coming around the corner of my mind, it was too late. I had no choice but to think them: My dad was really sick and fell in bathroom and I had to bust in and lift him up because he couldn’t stand anymore and we had to call fire rescue and…
No. That’s enough of that. I’m crying now as I type.
But let me just say this…
And I know you’re expecting me to say something about loving your loved ones while you can and don’t take them for granted etc etc, but since you’re probably reading this on social media, I’m going take this opportunity to address social media.
Don’t let Facebook or Instagram or Dicktock make you feel that something is wrong with you if you’re sad. Or lonely. Or unloved. Or broken. Or scarred from the past. Or like you’re not enough.
I assure you, these attention seeking people (although there are good intentioned ones out there as well) who tell you to just choose happiness all the time as if it’s a just some simple decision we’re too thick-headed to see, have never seen a loved one suffer. I mean, to really fucking suffer. And if they have, they’re 50,000 thousand leagues under the sea of denial about it.
So, don’t let them make you feel bad for feeling bad. It can be bad enough as it is. As you know.
Just let yourself feel how you feel. And then maybe, in time, but not too much of it, turn to gratefulness. Or to forgiveness. Or to gentleness. Or to love. Or to silence and stillness. Or all of these in whatever order feels right.
But don’t do this in efforts to be happy. It won’t work. And you can trust me on this because I’ve tried exactly that countless times and it always fails. Always.
Happiness can’t be the goal of gratitude or forgiveness or silence. The goal of gratitude must be gratitude itself. The goal of forgiveness must be forgiveness. The goal of silence is only to be silent.
Because those things toggle you into the present moment where things are usually a bit more okay. And then from there, maybe happiness will slip under the door of your mind on its own accord. But only when the universe is ready for it to do so. And not a moment sooner.
To close this up, I’ll share with you what I’m most grateful for in this right in this second. I deeply know, in every cell of my body and all of the spaces in between, that good is prevailing.
Even with all of the horror I’ve seen, I know fully that good is prevailing.
Please feel free to know this with me.
Manywith their periscopes popping through the surface of the water.
To see trump’s three Supreme Court justices today makes me so physically sick. They are a malignant stain on our county. Slow burning cancerous tumors grown from greed, racism, anti-semitism, white supremacy and anti-intellectualism.
And I know I will be judged for saying this, accused once again for being unloving and for being a phony spiritual leader, but I truly hate them. Hate.
And whoever judges me for this can go fuck themselves. You’re a joke to me.
With that, I also hate every single person who enabled this. Everyone single person who voted for trump either time. Everyone who voted for any republican in the last four years (and that’s being gracious). My hate for them is violent and volcanic.
Why am I taking the time to write this when we are such a great moment? The moment when Good prevails over Evil?
To let you know that it’s okay to feel these feelings. To let you know that it’s okay to sidestep anyone who tries to shame you for feeling this way.
We feel this way because we are repelled by injustice. We feel this way because our hearts hurt from the last four years and for what we almost lost.
Friends, I am also writing this to tell you, and to remind myself, that although I hate them, thoroughly, I know it wasn’t their fault.
Unfortunately and fortunately, each of us are doing the best we can in every moment.
And I am just so grateful to be lucky enough to not be like them. I am so lucky and grateful to be fueled by kindness. To be fueled by the fact that we are all connected. So grateful to see myself and the divine in all graced with life.
And I am so grateful that you are lucky enough to be so similar. And we are here together, literally, right now.
We are love. And sometimes love is tough.
But love heals.
Thank you, sincerely, for being with me for the last four years…
P.S. I was just on my knees, crying, when Biden was sworn in.
I think we all need to take it easy a bit with these “THANK GOD 2020 IS OVER” memes and messages.
We honesty have no idea what 2021 can bring with this pandemic. The virus is already mutating beyond our control and 3000 Americans are dying everyday with 200,000 more of us getting infected. And there isn’t nearly enough vaccines available.
We might soon be praying for how good we had it back in 2020.
With that, I know I’m always the one looking at the bright side and saying good will prevail. Which I know it still will. It’s already happening. But I assure you- this goddamn pandemic doesn’t care that the ball is about to drop in NYC.
So, the point of this message is this – continue to wear masks. Even more so now. Social distance like your life depends on it. Like the lives of your loved ones depends on it. Like the lives of your neighbors depends on it. Because it does. It unquestionably does.
And while I have you here for a few brief moments, I’d like take this time to truly wish everyone a happy and safe new year. I’m sending love to you and your families right this second. Yes, you. The person reading this right now.
Lastly, I often hear people say, “I’m going to be as careful as I can but I’m not going to let Covid stop me from living my life.”
I get it. A strong positive attitude. But at this point, that strong positive attitude is hubris. Better yet, it’s stupid. And selfish.
It’s high time we all grow up. Become actual adults. And take this as serious as it actually is.
Please know I’m sorry if I have just insulted you. But only a little sorry. Like, microscopically.