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Advent Devotional 12.1.20

Joy Triggers, and other Conduits of Pandemic Reflection by Amanda Lindamood

In between sheets of sad

triggers make sense.

Doors into feelings

below feelings

before feelings

between

memories and

wishes for futures real enough and

pretend enough.

Grounded

was a word I defined today,

and it’s in that spirit that I type this from the floor.

Juxtaposed with two hundred and three hundred as significant markers,

significance is the word I’m caught by

more than

comparisons of amount.

I’ve written in other moments of the unlanguagability of trauma,

and that disconnection between words and experiences draws me towards images.

Mirrors.

Reflections.

Light catching substance,

air trailing words

compressed by

fingers on

lips;

breath

blown out,

out, out

away from me.

Unlike culture

air is free to filter from

environment to

environment

routinely.

Culture holds notions that once were distilled;

making once

numerous.

Again,

and again,

and again

culture says.

Rape culture as

particles of

words

unspoken and

yet spread

everywhere,

deep,

deep within,

and around us.

Racism as lessons that

reached

those same insides,

before learning from culture

how to pass

between areas

like hugs might have

two hundred days sooner.

Stories of harm aren’t learned before they were lived.

Stories of harm

aren’t

learned

before they were

lived.

Stories of harm were lived.

Harm lives,

spreads,

passes,

creates substances

before environments,

though never separately.

reparations

racial justice

reproductive justice

restorative justice — –

how do you reflect harm as large and as numerous?

How do you individualize

what is collective?

Bodies don’t seek permission to be large or numerous,

and maybe they’ll never forgive

stories they carry.

Ironic to speak of

permission

by

something so

easily

violated.

so regularly,

largely,

numerously

violated.

Ironic to feel

joy

between sad

with sad

rage

no

no

stop

wait

through naming.

placed on the table

where God is invoked;

where maybe

God’s work

happens.

Can

one

feel

embodied

safe

restored

in a place where

so much harm lives?

Can reflections

change with culture

instead of

separately?

Where

air blows

and

lips part

safe

is a

prayer

in

places

where

harm

lives;

not separate

future

past

now.

Stories we

already carry,

or could

soon.

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