I have lists of blog ideas from my unplugged sabbatical experience, but when it comes to writing, I need to describe what’s alive for me in the moment. Right now, it’s fear. The fear isn’t strong or overwhelming, but it’s present.
I share my photographs on Flickr, which was my first encounter with social media. I joined back when it was old school: Not flashy, just plain ole’ photography and rich friendships. A place to learn, share, and be inspired. Even though the format has changed, I still enjoy my Flickr community.
Grief is visceral, unpredictable, and raw. Part of me resists grief, wishing it were done, completed, and gone. This same resistance holds self-judgment: Get over it, Joy; toughen up. Yet I don’t want to “toughen up.” The wiser, kinder parts of me welcome waves of grief. These waves honor my tenderness and vulnerability. They cultivate deep love and gratitude. They connect me to humanity.
Last Monday, after my long prison day, I felt a new understanding of impermanence. We did meditations on body sensations—noticing how they shift, pulse, and vibrate; how the changing nature of our bodies is okay. It’s not wrong, it’s natural. On my drive home, I listened to a dharma talk that encouraged more investigation: watch the nature of sensations, then open awareness to death—what if I no longer exist? In my expanded awareness, I was okay because I was present, alive in the moment.