It is Sunday – which means two things: Meditation and Food. The first is that I strive start my day with more in-depth spiritual work. This often includes altar cleaning, specific guided meditations, and catching up on religious class ‘homework.’ The other sure thing is ‘Sunday Night Dinner’ where our good friend Robin comes over for tasty vegan food, and some dramatic TV watching (we are skipping Downton Abbey so we can finish watching the first season of ‘The Top of The Lake’).
Both of these weekly traditions anchor me, remind me of the things that are important to have on the weekend, as well as a weekday. Our weekends often sway between over-packed with activities, or a haze of laziness (ie. knitting and law and order marathon watching). Also the contrast of a very ‘solo’ activity, and some schedule friendship ‘hang out’ serves to remind me of the various forces that are at play.
It’s hard, when living in a society where forces are only seen (or understood) as a ‘force over.’ There are laws limiting my body’s reproductive rights, there is capitalism forcing me to choose between a variety of ‘lesser evils’ and subjugation all in the name of ‘commerce’ and there are the cultural forces that encourage some modes of dress, speech, or expression over others. It is important for me to let myself acknowledge the other forces. How each direction and its coordinating element hold me in place, and can encourage growth. My work with deity also furthers not just that contemplative work, but adds fire to my belly allowing me to do activism in the night, or find the energy to reach out to friends. The forces of my family, friends, teachers, and work all pull/push me in (generally) good ways, that I am still constantly amazed by.
By doing the longer meditation in the morning, starting with the clearing of my altar I am welcoming the various energies and staking a claim to show up each day for the upcoming week. Like a clean kitchen begs a baking project, or a pile of new yarn asks to be woven into something a clean altar draws my attention and interest.
Similarly, concluding Sunday night with home made food with a friend dedicated to veganism, and social justice… who gets me and my partner, our cats, and life in general is another anchor. It is informal – we don’t have to vacuum, and never judges on those days where my clothes are a mess and I am cranky and yelling about ‘the internets’. In fact Robin and Zach stay up late ‘bro’ing down’ (ie. staying up to discuss dandy fashion, and watch Golden Girls) and I either retire to my office to finish homework, or crawl into bed so I can run early Monday Morning.
I live in a country where we are not supposed to look too hard at those laws, and cultural dictates shape our life. I grew up in a home where we were never supposed to admit how much the abuse hurt, or how hard the poverty and emotional neglect made life. I am slow still to bring up pain, or joy- fearful that I do it in the moment that it is experienced it is still too raw, and un-inspected- and my reaction will be questioned and judged. There is a tiny bit of vulnerability here – admitting I like starting my Sunday from a place of devotion, and ending it with ‘intentional family’ is somehow ‘too fluffy’ or ‘boring’ as if an enjoyed life is something to suspect, rather than relish in.