politics

The Garden You Can Touch

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There are bills to pay, songs to record, projects that are overdue, a generation of children starving to death in Yemen, school programs to rush to, children to raise, exhausted asylum seekers running from tear gas, women still earning less than $0.79 cents on the dollar compared to our male counterparts, a planet that’s screaming for healing from climate change, and a dear friend who just lost someone else to suicide. 

And that’s just today’s list.

My heart hurts. It aches. When days like this come, it feels like I might never be able to sing again. It’s all so much. The constant pressure and drive to succeed. The “wrong” we see and hear about all around us. It makes me want to throw myself into social justice work, sell all my possessions and head to the front lines, find a cure for cancer and heal the deep racial divides (still) plaguing our country.

How? I’m just one woman. One person. 5’ 9” with shoes on. Not to mention I have no law degree, cape, magic wand or super powers.

But what I DO have, what’s right here in front of me, is a garden I CAN tend. The garden I can actually touch.

It looks like the kids I’m raising, the friends I have the honour of holding pain with, the wildly empathetic heart burning in my chest. (BTW, you have one too.) It’s the neighbors I check on, the art I make, the music we write, the pride I feel when I exercise my right to vote in local elections and when take my girls to the food bank to help. Healing all the pain in our world seems so overwhelming…completely impossible. But I know that our tiniest efforts to simply “do good” compile and multiply like fishes and loaves. I have to believe every drop counts, every inch forward is momentum and that when I treat the people in front of me and the life around me with care and compassion, well, I have to believe that spreads. That it somehow chips away at the broken systems that so often seem to harm those they were designed to protect.

In the quiet, unglamorous mantra of one foot in front of the other, digging in and looking hard at my own shadow…somehow I find my voice. Er, maybe it’s better to say that it finds me. Again and again it returns, reminding me that singing is enough. It’s part of my garden, it’s what I have to offer. It’s a drop. It’s an inch.

 

What does your garden look like? We need you to tend and cultivate it now more than ever. I’d love to hear your answers if you’re willing to share.

Love,

Sandeigh

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Permission Granted

I am TERRIBLE at self care. I’m working so hard on improving, but honestly, I suck at it. Anyone else? What do you do to take care of yourself? Not just your body, but your mind and soul too…

I know the familiar place I end up in after a big creative project ends, a song is completed, an event is successfully behind us or even “smaller” challenges like making payroll for everyone on staff…we get through said thing, I finally exhale, and then the inevitable crash.

 

But lately, it’s been a bit different. I’ve had this draining, heavy feeling. (I know I’m a bit exhausted…if you know me, you know I go 100 MPH pretty much all the time.) But this has a different weight to it. It’s a heaviness that’s been sitting on my shoulders and in the pit of my stomach in a different way. It’s been with me for the last coupla weeks. Maybe longer.

 

A friend posted a message today that made it begin to come into focus. Her post was giving us all permission to hurt right now. The heaviness that has momentarily landed me in bed is heartache. It’s grief. For our country, for families who have lost so much, for gun violence, injustice, exhausted migrants, and oppression. It’s a lot y’all.

 

It’s as though I can literally FEEL the collective anxiety of our nation - of our planet. And you know what, that’s ok. I want to feel it all. I want cry for lives lost even though I will never know the people closest to them, who are now trying to manage life with their loved ones absent. I want be outraged when I see images in the news of kids – CHILDREN- with scars on their bodies because they survived a school shooting this year and are now trying to figure out how to “just be a teenager” after going through such trauma.

 

This pain becomes fuel for me, and I’m grateful for that. And for permission to hold this grief even though it’s “not mine”. Because it should be. I’m not throwing in any towels…I’ll get up and do my work and love people. But I needed the reminder that my broken heart is allowed and it has permission to feel all the things.

 

You have permission too, just in case you needed to hear that.

Love,

Sandeigh