The brokenness of the world is being lived out in my body.
Listen ~ 8 minutes
One year and 8 months ago I broke my foot. You would think that by now it would be feeling so much better. And yet, recently, it has been feeling a level of pain and anxiety that it didn't even when it was still broken. My ankle is stiff. And it's like my foot is carrying all of the anxieties.
Today at yoga as I sat on the floor while the rest of the folks carried on with Warrior 2, I continued to flow but, leg spread wide, weight off my foot. And just in paying attention to that sense of anxiety rising from that foot I realized something.
In energy work we often talk about what is the underlying metaphoric message that our body is telling us. I broke this foot when we were just about 8 months into the pandemic. When we had believed we were coming out of it and yet a new wave was emerging. And Bill's dementia was more acute. And I had begun to need to coach him more on things, I had to pay attention more as strange things would show up in the water kettle. It was not only as if, it was the case that I was carrying extra burden.
Today as we had hoped by this point, two years plus past when we all first went into isolation. And while the world seems to be opening up again, in some ways there is caution. Some people are masked, some people are not. And certainly Covid is not gone. More and more of my friends are posting images of the two lines showing on their rapid test.
We are not past this. And yet, even as we are not past this we have hit an economic crisis that has not been seen here for so long. Inflation is as high as I can really remember. They talk about the eighties when I was in high school, high inflation. And now again. But at a time when relative incomes have dropped significantly.
And on top of that environmental devastation. This year as the atmospheric river washed out our roads, the heat dome killed wildlife. And we had the coldest freeze that I remember since my childhood here in BC, the South coast where the weather is typically mild. There have been fire, floods. Over 600 people died in that heat dome last summer and then a fire ripped through an entire town burning it to the ground ....
And now war, with Russia invading Ukraine. The world unsure how to respond. Not wanting to escalate the war and yet standing with Ukraine. And while we offer sanctions against Russia it feels a little bit too much like thoughts and prayers as yet another school in America gets shot up by a gunman. And then, again in America, the overturning of Roe vs Wade which guaranteed the rights to access to abortions for people who needed that service and it has been repealed. States are tripping over themselves to ban legal abortion sending women back underground while continuing to show no love and support for actually born children ....
And its as if all of these are coalescing in my foot. The weight, the world, that sense of the stability being taken away. It's like my body is living it out .... It’s like it is sunk into my ankle, into my foot sending waves of nausea through my whole being. Holding the weight of the world through the brokenness of the world ....
It struck me that this image in many ways illustrates the times we're in. On one hand it captures what appears to be a peaceful and lovely river on a beautiful day. For those who live nearby, the water level so close to the base of the bridge warns of the stark reality of impending flood. I walked here to be refreshed by the beauty of nature and found the path under water.
Growing up in B.C., in school we were taught about the mighty Fraser River and the man for whom it was named. Yet this River has flowed long before his arrival and is known by many names to peoples who live along her shores. "The river is called “Sto:lo” in Halqemeylem and “Lhtakoh” in the Dakelh language, both meaning “river” in their respective languages. To the Tsilqot’in people, the Fraser is appropriately named “ʔElhdaqox,” meaning Sturgeon River, in reverence of the captivating and prehistoric fish that traverse the waters of the south Fraser. (1) As much as we might claim this flowing water, she is her own being. And yet our lives intertwine.
There are days when the whole world seems like an impending flood. Water is life-giving but floods are destructive. Yet they are also messengers. The deluge of weather events reminds us that we are part of, not set apart from, the natural cycles that sustain all life. The rising waters of political and social divide compel us to look in our own hearts and at our own lives and see where we have added to that flood, even unintentionally. The beauty and the threat compel us to both hold in love and to take clear and decisive action to keep the most vulnerable from being swept away or subsumed.
Both beautiful moments and flood warnings highlight what's at risk and why how I show up matters.
This is the River of Life. Don't look away.
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