Thinking about holiday gatherings and all the joy and pain and messiness that come with families can be exhausting.
Yesterday morning on public radio’s “On Being” Krista Tippett interviewed Joanna Macy, 81, a Buddhist translator of the poet Rainer Maria Rilke. Macy spoke about pain and love and loss. She said not to run from the discomfort . . . “if we can be fearless, can be with our pain, it turns. . . . [W]hen we take it in our hands, when we can just be with it and keep breathing, then it turns to reveal its other face, . . . our love, our inseparable connectedness with all life.”
Macy said, “I’m not insisting that we be brimming with hope. It’s OK not be optimistic. . . . Feeling that you have to maintain hope can wear you out, so just be present. . . . The main thing is that you’re showing up. . . and that you’re finding ever more capacity to love this world because it will not be healed without that.”
Our families are not perfect, we are not perfect. Nothing may have changed. Your mother-in-law may still be critical; your uncle may still have asinine opinions. That’s ok. Rilke says, “If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.”
Just breathe deep, show up, and enjoy the turkey.
To hear the program or download poems, go to http://www.onbeing.org/program/wild-love-world/6