What a two-week period in American history! Three major “I’s” on three January Wednesdays – Insurrection on Jan 6, Impeachment on Jan 13, Inauguration on Jan 20!
Today’s official celebration of MKL’s birthday gives us some perspective from which to view all three. The 264 years of slavery did not end with a few minds changing but with the Civil War. Since then violence against African Americans has continued with lynchings, “legal” executions, the destruction of the Black Wall St. in Tulsa with over 200 deaths in 1921 and police killings today. Racism has not ended, as seen in its extreme destruction in the attack on democracy and murders at the US Capitol on January 6. Cruelty, injustice and violence were the foundation blocks of our nation and will continue until we transform them.
Yet throughout that history, voices and actions of courageous men like Martin Luther King have encouraged the other side of our national character – hope, equality, tolerance and unity. We have a choice always to transform the violence and hatred into peace and love if we choose to expose and demand accountability for wrongs done and forge ahead with concrete plans to end this pandemic, its economic suffering, the divisions of racism.
The next step is acceptance of the reality of the Biden/Harris executive power to make progress in extending the Covid vaccine and healthcare benefits, granting economic help to the poor and unemployed, and mending divisions in our political system.
Americans are great at making “lemonade,” at seizing opportunity, at rising to our “better selves.” Martin Luther King urges us still to see the stars through the darkness, to take the hand of our neighbor, to help ourselves and our country survive these crises with renewed strength and a vision of the “sunlight of opportunity.”
When is a good time to practice Qi Gong? Daily, early in the morning, outdoors, especially at the beach is our favorite time and place. But the best answer is ANYTIME, ANYPLACE, every day – especially NOW.
In these last few months, and increasingly in the last two weeks, our country has experienced intense health, economic, political and social upheaval. We are all affected by these crises at a physical and psychic level. If you have been feeling more agitation, anxiety, fear, anger, frustration, isolation or despair, you are not alone. Each of us, consciously or unconsciously is affected on some level by the pandemic, racism and attacks on democracy.
Qi Gong is a practice that will help us to touch our energy, release negative energy that blocks us from free movement, and nourish positive, healing, hopeful energy in our bodies, minds and spirits.
Join us every Tuesday from 7:00-7:30pm on zoom to practice Five Animal Play Qi Gong. Enjoy becoming more rooted on earth, solid and powerful with Bear energy, more peaceful, confident and majestic with Deer energy. Become an alert, agile, focused Monkey, and a graceful, flexible, concentrated Crane. Feel the strength, power and courage of the Tiger in your arms, legs and torso.
Someone dear to me must pass a test tomorrow in order to carry out a huge creative project. Please pray for her! I stopped praying for a long period of my life when I decided I had no faith. Then life crashed, got unbearable and some sort of prayer must have escaped my hard heart. It was answered. My life changed 180 degrees.
I believe in prayer again, have now for decades. Being cynical about its power when urged to take it up as a daily practice, I chose the ‘parking god’ to whom to pray. Dang! I started getting parking places like magic, got one in front of the passport office in DC! “I’ll take this god as mine,” I said. I found that invoking the parking god worked for anything related to cars, even extended to airplanes, travel, finding great vacation spots, sunsets, sunrises, a beautiful life.
So, will you please join me, just this once, in invoking the parking god on 1/14/21 for my friend? Thank you, you won’t regret finding this new power!
Details of the January 6 assault on the US Capitol continue to emerge as more arrests take place. The Capitol police should have been better prepared with all the advance notice of the planned armed rally. They should have sought reinforcements earlier. The DC government should have had the power to rouse its own National Guard. No officer should have aided the invaders. One of them should not have had to die defending lawmakers.
Today we are left the realities of a president in office who has committed treason and incited a riot on Congress. Can he be impeached again? Will Pence have the courage to invoke the 25th amendment? Or should attention be turned to affirming Biden’s cabinet appointments, inaugurating him in 10 days? Stemming the Covid-19 pandemic that claimed over 4000 lives in just one day that saw over 300,000 new cases reported on that same day?
My heart flips between calming my heart and hearing the voice of reason saying, “He must be stopped!” Two beings guard many Buddhist temples, one loving and compassionate, the other a Niō who defends the Buddha from harm.
Perhaps we need some of the Nio’s energy at this moment to balance a certain naïveté in our hope for a peaceful transition of power in these last days of white supremacy’s stand against the wave of multiracial, multicultural, antiracist energy enveloping our country in reaction to the injustice of three days ago.
Yet, as I edit my chapter on “Just Mercy” in Awake to Racism this morning, I reread this powerful statement: “The power of just mercy is that it belongs to the undeserving. It’s when mercy is least expected that it’s most potent – strong enough to break the cycle of victimization and victimhood, retribution and suffering. It has the power to heal the psychic harm and injuries that lead to aggression and violence, abuse of power, mass incarceration.” ( Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (New York: Spiegel & Grau, 2014),294.
It reinforces my deep-seated belief that LOVE trumps Hate. Never as quickly as we wish.
Congratulations to all my fellow authors! What a joy to celebrate with you yesterday at our “Commencement,” the beginning of our next book!
Only 11 more days of the Trump reign, or less if he is removed under the 25th Amendment (which might prevent him from running for office again) or impeached for a second time.
The win of two Senate seats in Georgia.
Many former Trump supporters speaking out against his treason and promotion of insurrection.
So much has happened in the last couple of days here in DC that will affect my book, AWAKE to Racism: Listening, Connecting, Acting. I need to update the Introduction and add more to the Conclusion since the “Last Stand of White Supremacy” at the US Capitol on Wednesday.
Michelle Norris expressed some of my reflections so well in an editorial in The Washington Post today: “The common refrain is a fear of an America where white privilege is challenged and whiteness as the gold standard of beauty or power or value or provenance is no longer the automatic default… if that mob had been Black, participants would have been called savages, thugs, hoodlums, and eventually inmates. There would have been no fist-pumping parade out the door. Looting would not have gone unpunished. The day would have concluded with handcuffs and mass detention. We would likely have seen tanks in the streets. We would almost certainly have seen more bloodshed.”
Other articles detailed the long advance public notice that this ‘rally’ was planned, advertised as violent, that participants were encouraged to bring weapons. That it was stimulated and urged by a sitting president is appalling but not surprising. At least four people died. The Pentagon, with the power to call up or detain the DC National Guard, refused to do so when begged by Congresspeople and the Mayor of DC.
This event was a display of white supremacy in the very bones of our most basic institutions. Not a ‘fringe group’ of ‘good ole boys.’ A structure that must be dismantled, so true equality, justice and hope can flourish. Now.
Still “breathing in/breathing out” in Washington, DC, six miles from the Capitol.
At least I hope that this is my original WordPress site – The Power of LOVE! I was kicked off for months, very precious months that I wanted to be sharing with you, but was unable to access this site for some ‘cyber’ reason I don’t understand.
In that space I have been writing a new book, tentatively titled WAKING UP to Racism: Building Beloved Communities. I’ve been doing the work, publishing on a daily basis in Writing in Community, a Seth Godin 6-month workshop in which the aim is to write, edit and PUBLISH a new book! Very challenging.
Since the burning issue, in the midst of daily new deaths from Covid, was the recent, highly publicized killings of Black people by police, my heart was full of the need to do anything I possibly could do to stop the killings, join the shout that “Black Lives Matter” and be part of the antiracist movement to stop white supremacy.
I am hoping that many voices – Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, Fannie Lou Hamer, Angela Davis, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ibram Kendi, Audre Lorde, Resmaa Menakem and all the other powerful African and African-American writers, leaders in the struggle for equity and justice in this world, will speak through my stories as they have through my life.
I have just finished editing some of the interviews with Diversity Workshop leaders who gathered to share their voices.