Bluesful News Mindful Shoes

Let your voice be heard.

The issues of the past few weeks hit too close to home for some of us. The news is bleak and brings up more than just news. I may be among the few who didn’t know who Anthony Bourdain was, and had little more awareness of Kate Spade. Immigration issues at our southern border were in a kettle on the back burner. I was, however, all too aware of the effects of certain mental health crises as well as the effects of trauma on children and families.

I know from experience.

Count yourself extremely fortunate in life if you’ve never endured enforced family separation so traumatic as to cause issues of mental health in the most treasured of family members leading to years of struggle, including a time of suicidal ideation for one or some. I will tell you now that I and my family have walked in these extremely ill fitting shoes. They were an illegal fit and they caused infected, eviscerated, unhealed wounds on our very being, our souls. Yes, we did no wrong, broke no law, were innocently living our working middle class lives, minding our own business. Yes, we are Caucasian; Irish, English a bit of French.

We are your next door neighbors. It happened to us and it can happen to you.

Power is a dangerous thing.

Some say, “in the wrong hands.” Back in the day that may have been true. Today I am hard pressed to find single contender on any level who I would trust with the kind of power to destroy children, parents, families, lives, worlds.

Please, before you speak, think long and think hard.

If you’ve been lucky enough to have been born in the U.S., are white (extra credit for male) with at least a high school education and have always enjoyed good health, you are probably privileged. If you have a college education, perhaps even more privileged, your wife or spouse coming in as a close second.

And it’s all luck.

It’s only luck or by Gods good grace that I’m not of brown skin desperately attempting to cross the U.S. border illegally.

There is no question that there is no excuse for separating these immigrant families. Never should parents and children be forced to separate. The trauma that is being experienced by these families is profound and will carry down through generations: generations of Americans because inevitably they and their traumatized families will find their way here. They will become naturalized citizens and their descendants will be just like you and I.
However, to be thorough, the immigrants at the southern border of the U.S. are breaking the laws of the United States government. You and I don’t get to do that without consequences. But never punish innocent children. It borders on atrocity. I can’t drive without buckling my seatbelt or I may or may not be arrested (at the policeman’s discretion) and separated from my family. This is not, however, what happened to my family. It was much more complicated, involving medical, legal and government bureaucratic systems which we were rendered powerless against.

Power is a dangerous thing.

If we want things to change, we must scrutinize our LaWs and our LaWMaKeRs, our policy makers, and do the work that it takes to change them. Vote them out. Then vote the others in.
That’s what speaks to them; our votes. Clearly, not treating people with human decency. Who could comply with orders to cage young fragile human beings on a massive scale? We all know the answer to that question.

Vote. Write. Rally. Speak.
Don’t be silent.

Let your voice be heard.

It was during a time of desperation and destitution many years ago that a therapist taught me the simple but powerful art of mindfulness. I’ve long since found a more compassionate pair of shoes to wear. They take me to new places away from turbulent news and tumultuous memories. These gentle shoes heal old wounds and I wear them well. My many nature adventures are the rediscovery of simplicity. I immerse myself in aesthetics, the sights, sounds, feel, fragrances and even taste on a basic level of our beautiful environment. Somehow, while I walk or ride or swim the world realigns itself if even for a short while.

Mindful movement, sentient stillness and healing soles were my companions on my walk to Point Judith Lighthouse yesterday.

And oh, what lovely, healing walk it was.

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