I hope this weekend was extended for many of you and an opportunity to rest your bodies and minds after an intense spring. To mark the Memorial weekend, I’m structuring this email a bit differently. Instead of including a contemplative practice and a creative idea, I’m including two articles I read over the past few weeks with reflections and ideas about how we grieve and memorialize loss in this extraordinary and particular time in our country’s history. Here’s hoping we all have a moment to pause and reflect on those who gave their lives in service to our country in the past, as well as ways we can utilize our creativity to stand in solidarity with those facing the persistent sense of loss that is part of our current reality. To that end, here is some food for thought:
*This New Yorker article did a beautiful job of sketching the difficult and painful reality of many families facing loss in the current COVID-related context, particularly the challenge of grieving and processing loss from a distance. It’s a bit of an investment, so if you don’t have time to read the full article, this line in particular grabbed me for its honesty, simplicity, and hope: “We are left to face this with what we have: our hearts, beating sadness and love, and our imaginations, this underused magical power.”
*This article about two local chaplains (and Austin Seminary grads) got me thinking about ways to emulate their work to support friends and familycurrently grieving or struggling with loss during the pandemic. I loved reading about their creative commitments to serve their clients from afar.
In the spirit of Memorial Day, to keep our hearts and mind’s engaged:
This week’s verse: “Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit!” (Hebrews 12:1 from Eugene Peterson’s The Message)
This week’s poem: “Ailey, Baldwin, Floyd, Killens and Mayfield” by Maya Angelou
And if you still have time left, this article about what might be the first real celebration of Memorial Day was full of tenderness and tenacity and is absolutely worth the read.
On that note, rest and rejuvenate and blessings on the week to come!