On Gratitude

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” ― Melody Beattie

Resistance is NOT Futile

I woke up this morning with a feeling of dread. Despite the abundance of good work, the anticipation of my new book, the arrival of a dear friend for a weekend visit, I knew there was something else lurking. The same dark anomaly that has been lurking for years now—yes, years, think about it.

When I woke up this morning, I knew that at some point in my day, at least once, whether intentional or not, I would be subjected to the reality of Donald Trump. Headlines yelling at me from my news sources, in my social media newsfeed, from the display in the checkout line—the enormity of what is happening is so loud and terrifying, I’ve developed a screaming whine in my ears that will not go away.

And that’s the scariest part—this is not going away. Not. Going. Away.

So the question is, what do we do with this? You can’t hide from it. Or run away. Ignore it. You have to face it. Do something about it. Cry. March. Scream.

And then go eat a gallon of ice cream. Or shoot yourself. Or something in the middle.

I showed up at the computer this morning determined to disconnect from social media for good, to train myself not to read the headlines anymore, to effectively stick my head in the sand and figure out how to breathe through my ass for the next four years.

But then this article caught my eye. And I read it. And I think you should too.

It’s called “How to Stay Outraged Without Losing Your Mind” by Mirah Curzer, a lawyer, feminist, and photographer. In it, she gives the following tips for being a strong resistor while maintaining your sanity:

1. Don’t Get Used to Trump — Get Away from Him
2. Focus Your Energy on One or Two Issues
3. Make Activism Fun
4. Take Care of the Basics

Please read these “Self-Care Lessons for the Resistance,” and then let’s roll up our sleeves, grab our lightsabers and get to work, shall we? I’ll courageously stay at the front lines with you…or go eat a hot fudge sundae, if that’s what is necessary for the cause.

Text ©2017, Jen Payne. IMAGE: by Hayley Gilmore, ladieswhodesign.com

Kintsugi

come, look closely
I am gold here
in between the pieces
broken

no longer broken

repaired

each crack
part of my history
this shimmering self

now

here

this is no disguise

no pretending
you don’t see the scar

it is the thick hot line
that shows you
how I traveled here

come, touch it
trace your finger
along its golden trail

there is poetry there,
can you feel it?

Poem ©2016, Jen Payne, 11 years removed. Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum, a method similar to the maki-e technique. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.

that i would be good

That I Would Be Good
by Alanis Morissette

that I would be good even if I did nothing
that I would be good even if I got the thumbs down
that I would be good if I got and stayed sick
that I would be good even if I gained ten pounds

that I would be fine even if I went bankrupt
that I would be good if I lost my hair and my youth
that I would be great if I was no longer queen
that I would be grand if I was not all knowing

that I would be loved even when I numb myself
that I would be good even when I am overwhelmed
that I would be loved even when I was fuming
that I would be good even if I was clingy

That I would be good even if I lost sanity
That I would be good
Whether with or without you


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfnKQeKmcQ0

Photo ©2017, Jen Payne. “That I Would Be Good,” written by Alanis Nadine Morissette, Glen Ballard • Copyright © Peermusic Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, The Bicycle Music Company