Saturday, July 20, 2013
No Lack of Love
If you have ever been called defiant, incorrigible, forward, cunning, insurgent, unruly, rebellious...take heart. There is yet time...practice. Andele! And again.
To begin with, take on meaning wherever you can, as though it is the air you must breathe in order to not only survive, but to thrive. Find work and events that leave you feeling well used, rather than just aggravated and angry. If on the road you encounter a sign that reads "Keep Out", understand the true nature of wisdom, consider carefully and most of the time, do not "keep out". Remember, there is almost nothing that cannot be helped or improved by love, warmth, mercy and a small but wild gleam in one's eye.
Caveats? Beware of people with smiles that light up quickly, but drop away like black eels as soon as you turn away. Beware of grinning people carrying daggers who say they are not daggers but rather gladioli that just happen to be painted to look like daggers. Avoid those who maintain minds so narrow that they can see through a keyhole with both eyes.
To remain strong choose able fellow travelers. Bypass whiners, blamers and complainers. Whiners trail long slimy weeds behind for everyone to trip over; blamers waste everyones time by pointing to the same problems over and over, without ever truly putting their own cajones or ovarios on the line. Complainers drain and delay everyone with petty predictabilities. Their ice cream is always too cold and their soup is always too hot.
Elude, as well, people who nip away at your time, your resources, just a little here and there. "Surely you don't mind...." they wheedle. Mind.
Practice mercy. Don't be ashamed to be a person of faith, whichever faith that might be. If you follow Christ, act like Christ, if you follow Buddha, echo Buddha. Whether you love Theotokos, or the Goddess, or The Prophet or study the great Rebbes--all the great ones are characterized by kindness and kinship with all, rather than by bickering, keel-hauling and killing. When you hear a politician or "reformer" disparaging the poor, the uneducated, the sick, the lonely, the tormented, the helpless--change sides.
Rekindle forgotten beatitudes: Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. Practice Descansos y flores blancos: planting the dark ground with white flowers wherever atrocities or death have taken place. Be mindful that in la lucha, matters of deep change, God is often put on trial by detractors. Step forward as lead counsel for the defense.
Vigor and humor are the keys to longevity, helping one to rise up again and again. Do not forget to appall your critics often: Tell them "I have worse news for you yet; there's more of my work yet to come; much, much more." In disheartening moments, remember that you can weep and be fierce at the same time. Let the tiny lights of your tears be lights on the path for others. Resist much. You will be asked to accept the conventional wisdom: "First you crawl, then you walk." Confound them all! Get up off your knees. Fly first. Soar second.
So it may be for you, so may it be for me, so may it be for all of us.
No lack of love,
Clarissa Pinkola Estes
On behalf of "The Grandmother of the World"
Photo: 'Masks' by Molly Kate Taylor