In these holiest of times I’m shrinking, shrinking, just as I’ve longed to do, and just as my soul would have me expand larger than anyone except the One.

I am the little potato and the vast lake. I’m little, nubby, and selfish, wishing to turn my back at all creation. An old crone in a black cloak shaking her fist. Yep. I want to judge everyone, criticize everything. I know it all and yet what I most long for is the nothing of nothingness.

I show my hand. I open both my palms face up. A succulent plant quivers as I type; its ribbed green reaches pour gladness all over. I feel like a million bucks. I sit in an office filled with photos of my daughter, my nephew and two nieces, my husband and dear friends. A multicolor Mexican painted fish hangs lurid with hope against the staid dark blue wall. Sunlight pours over my old press badge, and glass community service award, a carved toucan from Costa Rica, and a photo of the waterfall above our family’s favorite camping site at Forest lakes. Business cards for my job in communications for a nonprofit working for universal health care, and tape and assorted sticky notes.

In all this beauty of a life well lived, why this heavy sadness? It weighs hard and heavy. Makes me want to tear my hair out. As we greeted each other for writing group this morning on Zoom, we agreed: We are all cranky and well. Could what troubles me be this juxtaposition between my wellbeing and a famine of biblical proportions forming on our global horizon. There just isn’t enough of me to fix this. I can hardly handle the amount apportioned me.

But I’m not alone. I understand that when God wants us to lie in green pastures, it means He really is here for us, has us covered, all our needs will be met, we can trust this. What is it Joel S. Goldsmith writes in “Practicing the Presence?” All your problems are already solved. I literally don’t have to do anything more than my best, and God/Benevolent universe really will take care of the rest.

I’m not buying it. My cranky crone’s like, ah, fuck you.

I love me anyway, I love my where my shoulder aches having to avoid hugs from Megan, my best friend since I was 12. I guess I really needed that hug today, the one I’ve always had when we say goodbye. Today it felt tough on the front end also, when we got out of our cars for the walk at Teller Farms. That awkward wave where you’d usually hug. I thought how a hug is worth at least 100 words when it comes to landing, connecting, arriving together into a shared moment.

Gwen Meharg,

I loved the women’s faces on Zoom in my writing group. It sustains us, these 1-inch photos. Same with my dance tribe, and the energy of the dance itself. Same these masked walks with the masquerading version of Megan. So why do I feel like crying? Am I genetically predisposed to feel sorry for myself constantly in a sea of blessings?

Or is it just that I need time to process? Time to wallow in exactly how bad I do feel despite all my blessings. Every emotion, every derelict self, will only immerse into the larger we when we can embrace them fully. So I take a minute to breathe.

We hurt despite our commandments not to.