People travel all the time. Maybe less so these days, but it’s just something that happens a lot, for personal and professional reasons. Can’t tell you how many times I see on dating profiles that a potential partner will judge you as unqualified if you don’t have enough passport stamps.
The first time it happened, it was really unplanned. I was twelve. My best friend had thrown me over for cooler girls. There I sat at home on a Friday night, not at a slumber party with the rest of them. So, I invited Loneliness over to hang out. Always so obliging, so eager, that Loneliness. Unlike me, she never begrudged being the substitute friend when there was no one better or more interesting to fill the social calendar.
Despite all that, my most visceral memory from that year will always be sitting in a car on a cold, rainy, fall afternoon with the mother of one of the shooting victims. We formed a friendship during that season and had gone out to a local school to talk about resilience. When we got back in the car to leave, she checked her voicemail, had gotten a call from her son who was refusing to go to school. Again
As I’ve come to learn some of the important components in the Disability Rights movement, Marilyn’s life has replayed for me, one chapter at a time. It’s all there: employment, independent living, transportation, even and especially her right to be in a loving relationship. If she’d been coming up in this generation, what a different life my Aunt Marilyn might have had! With that in mind, I bring you today’s recommendations for some of the finest podcasting I listen to on the regular.
Did I have enough time to take a good shower and dry my hair before the call? If not, was I willing to go through the video call with wet hair? [Side note: I’m not one of those women who looks cute and dewy after stepping out of the shower. My face gets flushed from rosacea, and my stringy hair makes me look rather like a drowned rat. In other words, I generally try to avoid having people see me in such a state.] If I didn’t take a shower then, was I willing to spend the rest of the day feeling gross? [Another note: This is the pandemic, so you know, it had indeed been, um, a whiiiile since the last shower.]
A spiritual walk with grief in some ways is, and in some ways is not, like these paths. A walk with grief, especially at the beginning, is more like being totally off the grid, mucking around, with no discernible path at all.