My community is on fire and so is my heart.
I may have a chronic illness and I may have chronic dating problems in Los Angeles, but I have formed a group of friends that are solid and loyal and full of love. We are all so very different, but we are there for one another. Over the past week, almost every one of these wonderful people has called to express their pain and sadness and rage at a series of events happening in our SoCal community. Another shooting, then fire. And more fire, and destruction and loss and hurtful ignorant Tweets, and more and more and more fire.
I walked outside yesterday and took the picture you see here. A sky so pink it looks like it should represent something beautiful. In reality, it made my eyes water and my throat burn and I felt a bit breathless within minutes and knew I needed to stay inside. I usually walk my neighborhood on Saturdays. But there is fire.
Instead of walking, I went to a very powerful mediation where we spoke about the elements and forces of nature, and the more I sit in silence and take in the events of the past week, the more I understand the rage of my friends.
We need to start fresh. Burn it all to the ground. Stop blaming one another for everything. Stop worrying more about money and social media than love and kindness. A woman tried to run me over last month in a cross walk. She saw me and sped up. A man spit on my best friend because he felt she cut him off in her car. He literally exited his vehicle, pounded on her window until she rolled it down, and spit in her face.
There is a sickness that has spread like wildfire, born of fear and anger that has turned our skies pink and our hearts black.
When people ask me what I am trying to express through my life with MS, I say that I want everyone to embrace it all. To take the monster by the hand and be kind to even the worst parts of it; the parts that cause pain or numbness, the parts of the monster that make me drop everything or forget everything; the parts that make me so tired I never want to leave the house. To hug it all and give it what it wants – what we all want – love and support and attention and kindness. So much kindness.
Walk outside; stand in silence in nature and offer gratitude to whatever you see. A tree, a pebble, some water, a flower, the sun, the dirt or gravel, the fire over the hill. Stand in silence offering peace and kindness to the man who has so much fear he has to spit on a woman, to the woman who has so much self loathing she has to try and run me down.
As we watch it all burn, the best we can do is take care of one another. And most importantly of all, take great care of ourselves.