Dear Friends…

Though a part of me is struck with the surreal and comic absurdity of this moment in time (and perhaps even the possibilities for change it may provoke), I must address the pain and grief that was my and so many people’s first response. I will do my best to speak compassionately from the shadows…

I will also apologize in advance to any of you who hold different political views. I think at heart we all want the same things, so forgive me if I misspeak from my cultural biases. I don’t wish to sow more divisiveness. This is just one perspective, and I speak it to help those who are moving through grief right now…

First reaction from election-night:

I am furious. I am shocked. As a woman I am scared. As a lover of the earth and human rights (and dignity!), I am appalled. I weep, I shake, I ask to be held, I cry some more… In this stunned state, it strikes me that we are a nation founded on genocide, slavery and greed for gold, a nation that has barely grown into ‘adolescence’ as a largely arrogant, narcissistic and commercially materialistic culture ~ so of course it makes sense that a misogynous, racist, bigoted, capitalist beast would rear his ugly head to take the reigns for a time. I find myself sad and dismayed, even disgusted at how much of our populace holds these ‘values’ even in this modern age. Mostly I am just deeply sad. I understand many of the folks who voted for this man are just disillusioned, reacting to a system that hasn’t worked for them. I imagine that’s how a lot of dangerous leaders have risen ~ because disenfranchised people crave something New to alleviate their suffering, in the hope that mere change could possibly engender progress. I get it! In the wake of the election results, even a good number of progressives are trying to make sense of this by taking a similar stance ~ that this new wild-card somehow presents opportunities for positive growth…

kaliLovely as that idea is, in this moment a very visceral part of me would like to tear this man(monster) limb from limb, like the warrioress Kali and her army did when she was brought in to destroy the demons and return the healthful balance of the world. On the surface this may not seem like an “enlightened” or “conscious” response ~ but this is a sacred energy that arouses my strength as a protectress for that which I love and hold so very dear. A sacred rage, and a sacred grief… Blood and tears…

So now I take a breath, shed a few more tears, snuggle up to my honey and remember some of the simple sweetnesses of life, letting the rage wash away just as it washed through… I take time to read many wise and frightened words on the web. I admire so many of you for the feelings you are expressing and embracing. This is a time of deep personal and collective shadow-work.

For many this is a time of shock, confusion, and many challenging emotions. These are to be treasured, listened to, and worked with. I’m appreciative of my friend Melissa Michaels who encourages us to keep embodying, moving, staying present, shaking it out and through… And as we re-find balance and a sense of ground, let us seek deep ways to serve, to create compassionate dialogue, to ask the difficult questions of ourselves even, and to keep living and creating the lives of goodness that we envision. For through all the nasty shadows and rage and fear and divisiveness, there are good-hearted people on all ends of the political spectrum working for a healthy world, and there are still beautiful things happening every day.

Though pained and dismayed, I’m also heartened to continue the fight: I will feel the grief and continue to sing, wail, drum, and pray for this great world, for this breathtakingly beautiful land, for indigenous people and their legacies of wisdom, for the scurrying-swimming-galloping-flitting-soaring-innocent things, for the humble ones who choose to serve rather than dominate, and for those who grieve in this time for the many, many pains of this world…

For as John F. Kennedy said in 1962:

“Behind the storm of daily conflict and crisis, the dramatic confrontations, the tumult of political struggle, the poet, the artist, the musician, continue the quiet work of centuries, building bridges of experience between peoples, reminding us of the universality of our feelings and desires, and despairs, and reminding us that the forces that unite are deeper than those that divide.”

And as Starhawk so compassionately said:

“Wednesday, whatever transpires, it will be time to look ahead, to the many important tasks and wonderful projects coming up. And time to heal. So please, people, let’s call in some compassion and tolerance over the next little bit of time. Pour that hatred and vitriol down the drain, and try to understand that most everyone is frustrated and anxious about the state of the world. Don’t take it out on one another—but look to ways to turn that fear and anger into creative and productive action.”

And yes, perhaps there will be a great light that rises from these shadowy times: as my friend L.R. Heartsong said, “remember that crisis is always the catalyst for evolution.”

With love, fierce and wild…
Ariana

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