A few days ago while I was out for a quick run through the cemetery (very respectfully), I found myself trapped in a cycle of worry and fear over Joe’s upcoming surgery. I kept trying to jolt myself out of it, but I found myself thinking of worst case scenarios and trapped in the fear he was going to die. In that moment I felt like I tapped into a global well of pain and sadness so deep that my heart skipped.  Literally. I felt a sharp pain in my chest scary enough to jolt up my shields and bring me back to the present before I face planted on the pavement.
 
I immediately headed for home, but I couldn’t stop thinking about the well of pain I had felt.  Bigger and deeper than I could imagine or process.  When I got back to the house I wasn’t ready to go in yet, I didn’t want to take that energy back inside. So I decided to lean in, put on depressing music and cry a bit and wander the mostly abandoned back streets in our neighborhood. Purple Dead Nettle
 
I couldn’t get the catharsis I was looking for, I just felt numb.  Then something caught my eye, a small patch of wildflowers growing out of a rotting stump. I know these flowers, they grew wild around my childhood home and they have most Metal name ever: Purple Dead Nettle also known as purple archangel.
 
I decided it was the omen I was looking for so I picked a small bouquet and took them home to Joe before looking up the symbolism:
 
Purple Dead Nettle ~ is associated with happiness, cheerfulness, determination and tenacity. It can grow just about anywhere, even when the soil is of poor quality or practically non-existent.
 
Grow everywhere with happiness, cheerfulness, determination and tenacity.

Black Lives MatterSaying Black Lives Matter doesn't discount all other lives any more than saying "Save the Rainforest" means burn the redwood forest instead or "Save the Whales" suggest f*ck the dolphins. It calls attention to the way that black lives and black people have been treated as less important than white people. It calls to attention the systemic racism of our justice system. It shines a light on the racism of so many American citizens and it does it in a way that many people, even people who are not racist (or don't like to think of themselves as racist), find uncomfortable.  
We should be uncomfortable. When we who would be allies to the oppressed and mistreated step back from language that makes racists uncomfortable, even something as simple as saying all lives matter, when it is incredibly obvious that all lives do not matter equally in our society, we are giving aid and comfort to the racists. We are letting the "mildly" racist feel smugly self justified in their better and more inclusive phrasing.

Don't make racists more comfortable. Make it uncomfortable to be racist. Make it very clear that racism, even "casual" racism or racist "jokes" have no place in society.

Make it scary and uncomfortable to be racist.

The last few days I’ve felt called to take walks in the cemetery.  ThorntonThornton


Yesterday I was overcome with joy and gratitude at the beauty of that quiet space and I gathered those feelings in my chest for a moment and then released them outward in a burst of energy.  A few moments later I felt a response rush back to me with the feeling of dozens of feather-light hands on my low back and under my arms lifting me up.  My feet never left the ground but my step was light and my stride was long.  It only lasted a few moments, but I ran effortlessly until I crossed through the front gates of Tod Cemetery and came back to the regular world.

ThorntonWeddingI am celebrating Pride this year by caring for my husband as he recovers from neck surgery and I am extremely grateful for what the LGBTQ+ Pride movement has achieved.  When Joe and I met it was still illegal for us to marry.  If he had needed surgery or ended up in the hospital when only family was allowed to visit, I would have been denied entry.  I would have had to hope some caring soul would break the rules for me – risking their job – to let me see, comfort, and care for the man I love.

Blessedly, the rules have changed.  We can marry.  We are legally a family.  Change and progress keeps happening; just this month the Supreme Court ruled that employees cannot be fired for their sexual orientation.  We are still fighting for equality, but it keeps getting better.