was much needed after yesterday… a trying day getting back from Germany with one of the Core Members. (but hello, Bavaria is fantastic!)
So last night I immediately took a shower and then went to a friends, sat by the fire and drank 3 glasses of wine. and then we had dinner, and another glass of wine. and laughed.
today was not filled with laughter but rather confusion and mixed up plans and misplaced items. and loads of dirty laundry.
then i just saw this message from a friend: “I totally am confused by fixies [as in the bike], and skinny jeans…what the?” and it made me laugh out loud.
laughter is the best medicine. and I was thinking about that a lot yesterday. Because for anyone (in this case, with a disability or not) happiness and joy creates physical reactions of smiling, laughter, embracing. Whereas sadness and anger and frustration is usually reacted to with violence and aggression, mean words and fists. In our society we are always trying to have everyone react in societal norms… forcing people to react in ways that aren’t natural for them. By no means to I condone violence with this, but rather, I see on a daily basis how hard of a struggle it is for some of the Core Members to react in ways that are safe when they are upset rather in ways that are violent.
Speaking Words of Love: Often we remain silent when we need to speak. Without words, it is hard to love well. When we say to our parents, children, lovers, or friends: “I love you very much” or “I care for you” or “I think of you often” or “You are my greatest gift,” we choose to give life. It is not always easy to express our love directly in words. But whenever we do, we discover we have offered a blessing that will be long remembered. When a son can say to his father, “Dad, I love you,” and when a mother can say to her daughter, “Child, I love you,” a whole new blessed place can be opened up, a space where it is good to dwell. Indeed, words have the power to create life. -Henri Nouwen
So after a day of trying to speak words of love in the midst of violence and frustration [yesterday], today I chose laughter. I laughed when my dad had me utterly confused about how old I was (convincing me that I was actually a year younger than I claimed and even making me get a calculator out), to hanging out laundry with Patrick, one of the Core Members and following it up by dancing and singing to our man Bruce Springsteen. And yes, I will admit it, choosing to not engage with what was negative all this time as well.
Choosing Life: God says, “I am offering you life or death, blessing or curse. Choose life, then, so that you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). “Choose life.” That’s God’s call for us, and there is not a moment in which we do not have to make that choice. Life and death are always before us. In our imaginations, our thoughts, our words, our gestures, our actions … even in our nonactions. This choice for life starts in a deep interior place. Underneath very life-affirming behaviour I can still harbour death-thoughts and death-feelings. The most important question is not “Do I kill?” but “Do I carry a blessing in my heart or a curse?” The bullet that kills is only the final instrument of the hatred that began being nurtured in the heart long before the gun was picked up. -Henri Nouwen