Yesterday morning, I glanced at my phone and noticed I'd received 92 new FB notifications. It caused twin streams of joy to flow from my eyes, and a tide swell of appreciation to fill my heart as I reflected upon the beautiful souls in the kaleidoscope of humanity that is my circle of friends.
Mark Twain said: “To get the full value of joy, you must have someone to divide it with.”
Over the last year, I’ve developed many relationships with people I’ve never met in person. Through digital technology and the heart connecting power of story, we’ve shared life experiences and bonded souls, through computers, and tablets, and cell phones---unencumbered by limitations of physical geography.
On January 20th, , I spent an entire day DIVIDING JOY across land & sea, mountains & plains, islands & continents and multiple time zones.
Discovering that the interaction continued, even as I slept, was a soft feather caressing my heart in a tender place.
And here's WHY it meant so much.
In recent years I parted company with a faith community whose teachings and ideology were no longer congruent with my own. I say “no longer”---but a more accurate description would be “never were”.
It’s been a slow journey of awakening that I liken to a return to full consciousness after having been administered surgical anesthesia.
In 2016, I was shaken awake from nearly two decades of religious slumber. JOLTED by the realization that many with whom I THOUGHT I shared a common faith based on the teachings of a Middle-Eastern, Jewish Messiah, adhered to that belief based on a set of pre-conditions that were embedded in fine print, that I had never bothered to read.
Stipulations that had LITTLE to do with the teaching of the Bible, and MUCH to do with power, politics, partisanship, and revisionist history.
But lamenting that part of my past, and my departure from that community is NOT my point.
Celebrating the expansive & inclusive community with which I’m NOW graced to do life is!
Joy multiplies when it is shared with friends!
I lived that multiplication as I celebrated the dawning of a new Presidential era both with friends who have known me for decades and friends who are new to my orbit.
I lived it with people of color who felt the lifting of a four year weight of targeted racism & bigotry at a visceral level. AND with white people who GENUINELY empathize, and have been intentional in their efforts to understand how the view of America is different, observed through the lens of the historically marginalized and oppressed.
For all of that I am grateful!
When we focus our attention on gratitude, the tide of disappointment ebbs out, and the tide of HOPE rushes in.
Our nation has many challenges ahead. There are neither quick solutions nor easy answers for the multitude of ills that have befallen us. I am hopeful—not naive.
But for now, I splash in the tide of hope!
And I do so THANKFUL for the company of friends who are with me in spirit, enjoying the surf, frolicking alongside me, abiding in possibility, engulfed with a passion for what's possible from here.