Retribution

If you’re having trouble writing, watch this Tanya Tagaq performance. It will give you life. Tanya’s music reminds me to always trust my voice: I don’t need to sound like anyone else.

Let Alice Munro do Alice Munro. You do you.

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This past week I’ve been thinking a lot about retribution — what it is, why we want it, and whether it is a way forward. Most of us spend so much time punishing ourselves that when someone hurts us it feels natural to dish out punishment. For a moment it feels right, like we’ve been heard, like we matter, like we’ve taken action for the better. But once the anger burns off, there’s just an emptiness until the next drama arises.

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I’ve been having trouble sleeping this week. My friends and colleagues in Canada are suffering. I hope we can all come back together in understanding, compassion, and respect. I hope we can heal together.

These words from Thich Nhat Hanh are helping me as I work through my feelings:

“The more we learn about the art of suffering well, the less suffering there will be in the world.”
We are capable of being compassionate, understanding, and joyful. If we pay attention only to the negative things in us, especially the suffering of past hurts, we are wallowing in our sorrows and not getting any positive nourishment.”

I hope you are well. I hope you find the words that you need right now.