Kara K. Root
I was “off” from work the last couple of days, which is a strange thing in these times, when we are all at home every second, and all the work, play, sleep, meals, fights, entertainment and rest happens right here, in the same space, with the same people. Every. Single. Day.
I joked beforehand that I had decided to just take a staycation, chill in sweatpants, catch up on Netflix, that sort of thing. The first day, though, I woke up with fire in the belly, and I cleaned my house for 8 1/2 hours. (That’s 2.5 Les Miserables and 1 Hamilton on the main floor before moving on to the bedrooms). I cleaned my house like I have never cleaned in my life (unless I was moving out). I moved all the furniture. I got inside the baseboard heaters and between kitchen backsplash tiles. I washed inside drawers, sorted the pencils from the pens from the markers, and took apart the French press.
Probably other people clean like this all the time, but that’s not me. I usually hate cleaning. But this time, it felt cathartic and healing somehow.
Singing opera and scrubbing floors got me out of my head and into my body and my space in a different way. I woke up sore the next day. The good kind of sore.
What is getting you out of your head and into your body?
What is helping you inhabit your space differently?
These last few days, I’ve also noticed that the waves of shock and disbelief, loss and grief, boredom and frustration keep coming. I remind myself that if we let these feelings wash over us and move through us, they pass. If we avoid them or resist them, they stubbornly set up camp in the periphery of our minds and wait to overtake us until we let our guard down. We can’t keep our guard up all the time. It’s too long. Maybe we can’t do it at all anymore. And maybe that’s a gift.
Every day, sometimes more than once, one of my family members drifts up to me, limp and bereft, and says, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” I take a deep breath and respond, “I know. This is really hard.” I give them a hug. I don’t try to fix it. Or make them feel better. That’s not easy for me. I want to fix it. I want them to feel better. But it helps to know: I actually can’t fix it. And it helps to remember that to move forward we need to feel what we are really feeling.
We’ve been listening to 80’s rock ballads during dinner every night. Loudly. And singing along. And sometimes getting up and adding some drums or air guitar if we can’t help ourselves.
The dog must go outside for walks, so we must go outside for walks as well. These things get us out of our heads and into our bodies, too.
Easter Season lasts for 50 days.
50 days to watch for resurrection.
This is a singular Easter season in our lives. It’s preset to remind us at every turn that we can’t make resurrection happen. We can only watch and wait for it.
We can’t fix it, feel it, or believe it into being. We can only get ready for it by being right where we are, feeling just what we feel. We can inhabit the space we are in, and move inside the bodies we are given.
But this is right where God is.
And this is just where new life comes.
This week we’ve added more resources to support you in connecting to hope as we wait for signs of resurrection in our midst. They include two guided prayers: Blessing Prayer and Prayer of Presence (You can listen to the audio and/or follow the accompanying written instructions), Breath Boards to help your family focus on breathing in and breathing out, and some easy, healthy snack recipes from our kitchen!
*Reverend Kara K. Root is the pastor of Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church (Minneapolis), a mother of two teens, and spouse of a theologian. She leads Sabbath retreats and blogs regularly at kara-root.blogspot.com. This piece was originally posted there as, “The Good Kind of Sore.”