Amy Brenneman
Amy Brenneman

January 13, 2014

Good Morning! And Happy New Year!

I’ve been wanting to start writing for my blog again, but then time goes by and I put pressure on myself and then more time goes by and I think, oh dear now it has to be something really REALLY special and then more time goes by and so many notable things have come and gone, so many almost-blogs and then more time goes by and I have to take a nap.


But taking a lesson – the ONLY lesson – from St. Anne Lamott, I shall now get off my duff and put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and say hello.


I hope you all – folks who have been on this website before and new folks too – have been well, and warm, and safe these past months. It seems not a day goes by without some catastrophe – historic weather! Government shut-down! School shooting/shooting in a mall/shooting by some crazy person who shouldn’t have a gun! – where my heart doesn’t open and I think, shit. Whoever is affected by that thing, know that they are not alone. Know that I am thinking about them, in however ineffectual but heartfelt way, in my kitchen in suburban Los Angeles. And if I am, that means others are too.


Yesterday at church, my guru Ed Bacon (he knows it’s true), said from the pulpit that our pain comes from our forgetting that we belong to each other. We are part of one another. The butterfly affect – that if one of us suffers or triumphs – it changes the rest of us. I used to think that was hippy bullshit – or rather, a nice thought but so esoteric, why bear repeating? But know I think it is my failing if I can’t feel others. That maybe what made the Great Ones great – Buddha, Jesus, St. Francis, Joan of Arc, Mother Theresa, MLK Jr, the Dalai Lama– is that they practiced sensitivity. Their bodies and spirit became as supple as Corinthian Leather.


But being the recovering codependent that I am, I’m thinking, shit. If I felt everyone’s pain and triumphs I couldn’t get through the day! I would be a ping pong, and I’d lose hold of myself completely.


So that’s where the collective comes in. We are a container, all of us. My job is to work on a sturdy inner self such that I know who I am and what my part is (to the best of my human ability), then I join in the human family to be a responsive member of that. Hard balance, this. On a daily basis (usually with my kids, let’s be honest) I can be depleted utterly and fall into my bed grouchy, victim-y, empty. But if I can actually do the grown up thing and take care of myself – eating, sleeping, the basics – then I find myself more available to our amazing human community and be of service to that.


Anyhoo. Those are my scattered thoughts today. Wherever you are and however you feel today, I send you light and humor and strength for your journey.


Happy Monday.