december reflections | this year was

the brutal will not break us because the beautiful will sustain us
— glennon doyle

this year was brutal.jpg

This year was brutal.
was and still is. 

I remember carrying so much heaviness into the New Year. it didn't seem possible that we had elected an unqualified, sexist, misogynistic, racist, hateful, narcissist to the most trusted position in our country. It is no longer the most trusted. Every thing about our system is suspect and foul. It makes me incredibly sad to know that my voice is not heard, that my life is not represented. I send emails and make my phone calls and it mostly feels like I am screaming into the wind. I've lately been wondering if this form of resistance is productive, on the macro and micro level. I am especially considering how all of it is affecting me personally. 

As much as the year began in heaviness, the crushing came later in the Summertime. My mother-in-law completed her time here on earth, ending a multi-year decline. Just days after her death, my husband's co-worker of twenty years was killed in a boating accident. Another few days later, I had a stroke ... and then my Noah was killed in a car wreck just four weeks after that. 

Inhale. exhale. 

it is the reminder I carry with me because it is so easy to forget to breathe.  know my body automatically takes in breath but it grabs them so shallowly. It hardly feels like those should count as being able to sustain my life. 

Many times, I come back to myself and wonder if I have been breathing at all. Stop. Inhale. Exhale. This is what carries me forward, past the trauma, through the pain. There is no other side to reach, to get beyond. Just movement. Rise and Fall. 

The year is ending in heaviness. All of the calls and the emails made no difference. It feels hopeless. Despair is knocking ... knocking ... knocking. I will not answer. 

The brutal has not broken me though it nearly crushed me. Beauty remains. I will fill every nook and cranny of my life with the beauty that remains, finding it in the most unlikely places. Reaching for it, claiming it. Breathing it in. 

Inhale. exhale.