I swear I will not dishonor my soul with hatred, but offer myself humbly as a guardian of nature, as a healer of misery, as a messenger of wonder, as an architect of peace. - Diane Ackerman
I have a recurring dream in which I am in front of an audience about to speak and realize there is a wad of something at the back of my throat. I turn away and reach my fingers into my mouth to pull out the mass. I pull and pull and wind out a never-ending taffy-like thread. Sometimes I am able to clear it out completely. But more often than not, the dream ends with me trying to speak with a wad of stickiness filling up the back of my mouth. I wake up with a tight jaw and a sense of frustration.
These dreams always accompany times in my life when I feel powerless and unsure of how to move forward— when too much is out of my control. I am not surprised that I've had this dream twice in the past week.
As the emotional whirlwind of January comes to a close, I've been reflecting on what I need to shift to flourish in the coming months. With all the external debates and an urgency for daily political action, I need a way of protest and resistance that honors my quiet, sensitive way in the world. I want what I write and create to reflect the calling of my inner life, which is offering refuge from the deluge of troubling news.
Each of our voices has a vital role along the continuum of growth and positive change. Some of our voices are in the lyrics of a song or in the collective call and response of a protest. Some voices land as pages of a book or on handwritten postcards mailed off to political leaders. Some of us embed our voice into mixed media art or onto note cards as greetings from the heart. Some voices get stitched into the hem of a blanket, contributing warmth to someone in need. Some voices are lines scribbled out of frustration— bleeding hearts as raw poetry on the page.
My voice is the one capturing a cloudscape— pressing pause on impermanence and beckoning you to look up. My voice invites you to step out of the noise and into silence. It holds space for everyday gifts even when grief has a hold on so much. My voice offers sacred messages delivered on tiny wings and is in the gentle coo of a mourning dove's song. It is the voice of beauty tucked into velvety petals and nestled within the careful weavings of a nest. Sometimes my voice is a sticky thread of words struggling to untangle onto the page. It is a voice hoping to say the truest thing it can say. And sometimes my voice is silent, a refuge of listening and holding restorative space.
These are my offerings, my way of showing up. I offer images and words as a haven— restoring souls through small moments of attention and beauty. I am a harbinger of quiet stillness, offering a way of navigating the noise with mindfulness and generous doses of gratitude.
I write and create for remembrance, offering my unique witness to the diverse landscape of experience.
I am an explorer of sacred moments hidden within the layers of an ordinary day. My protest is for the sensitive souls and anyone in need of a space to heal and rest. My resistance is alive in these offerings of mindfulness. It may be quiet but like the sky, it is generous and vast.