Check Your Background, Guns and Yoga

I’m sure you saw that the FBI ran more background gun checks on Black Friday than ever before. How many of those were assault weapons or just _weapons_ that have nothing to do shooting Bambi or turkeys or ducks or some other creature than humans? I grieve as much as I feel the fury, but I would not say more than ever. I would say that it is something I notice, something that I am forced to confront every time I read another story or face the _facts_. We can choose to bring the facts of our collective lives more fully into the conversation, or we can run inside and pretend it’s all going to work out for the best.

I long ago understood that I can’t spend a moment more looking for peace that is just another bypass, or attach myself to some soporific tripe about how I can go inside, how I need to meditate, how I can be light. If that’s what you need to do, I only hope you come out too to read the article about gun sales on Black Friday. For my part, I am meditating with my fury and each day, with news like this, with more grief. I grieve for what could be, for a failing experiment in law and decency, because there are going to be no do overs, no taking back these weapons and what will surely follow. I am not numb to the next time they will be used to kill innocent people. I will not extricate myself from that grief or the fury I feel when the folly, the callow stupidity of it all is _right before our eyes._ We have different values, different opinions, and we are going to have to live with threats of violence that we cannot control and that will not subside.

I plan on feeling +every bit+ of what is human in me, and if that requires an alchemy to endure it, then that must be part of the plan too. For me that alchemy begins in world that still matters to me, in a political experiment that claims humanity and rights are possible. I want to learn every day about folding all of these feelings into a story that lets me live with _all_ of what I feel. Living with myself, that isn’t _all_ the yoga I need. I need a yoga that lets me live in a world that confounds and defies credulity, that we cannot fathom but with which we must contend.

And I am not the least bit worried or afraid to feel _more_ of those feelings, especially the grief and anger. I prefer to be drenched in the acidic truth than tell myself that hope is somehow more true, superior, better. Yoga doesn’t need to “heal” or make us feel “better.” That’s something it _can_ do but we forget what more it could do. It can remind us to _engage_ everything we experience, not to give up, and to try every single day to create a way to live with what life presents to us.

I am not particularly hopeful because the evidence tells me otherwise. But I turn to the auspicious, the power to think with feelings in radical affirmation. That affirmation can create the inner conversation that tells me that I _must_ address everything I feel, the _whole_ of it, no matter what comes next. What we become together will depend on how willing, how far we are willing to go to make the world less terrifying than it already is. Let’s acknowledge the simple fact that it is _our neighbors_ who are armed, locked, and loaded, and how that makes us all complicit in the danger and fear, just like the villains want us to be. And yes, there are villains. Who do we want to be?

I am not resisting that fear, nor am I willing to deny the danger. I don’t have a plan to stop the madness because in America I think it’s plain that this train has left the station, and there is only going to be a way to live with this proliferation of the instruments of death. I commend the better angels of our nature, I believe we must believe in them because otherwise there is nothing left to love about this strange, terrifying world that is so full of beauty and wonder too. I take refuge in those who skipped the weekend’s background check, folks who too know they must contend with the all of it, armed with open hearts and eyes wide open.

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