Here we are today at the full “strawberry moon” – kicking off the eclipse season. It’s been quite a week if I do say. At least for those of us in the United States, there is so much sorrow, so much rage, so much pain. So much needs to change, so much needs to be dismantled, and it’s hard not to be bone-weary discouraged.
Although I don’t believe it’s a cure, I’ve always leaned into Isak Dinesen’s counsel “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.”
While I’d prefer my healing to come through the sea (or salt water baths); I’ve done my fair share of adding to the tear quotient of the universe.
I think tears come in expected ways – in grief, in moments of pain, in hurt, in shame. But I think of being weepy as having more of an unexpected aspect to it. I get weepy at meanness. It hurts my heart and makes me want to weep. And I get weepy in moments of profound heart-opening, when one’s heart is pierced by overwhelming joy or compassion. Yet however they come, tears really can be cathartic.
I found myself weeping several times as I listened to the audiobook They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera. It’s young adult LGBT fiction. It’s a sweet and sorrowful tale set in current time, although with a twist. There’s now a service, Death Cast, that notifies people by phone when they have less than 24 hours to live. The story is about two teenage boys, strangers when they each receive their call, who hook up via the “Last Friend” app which matches people so they can spend their last hours together.
It’s a poignant tale of two kids coming way too early to their deaths, who have already suffered tremendous loss, and are both in this moment, suffering separation from those they care most about. The story is about how they spend their last hours, courageously buoying one another, finding clarity, and connecting with their friends for celebrations and goodbyes. Clearly not the most cheerful read, but truthfully I’m suggesting it’s a good one. One that provided me with hope even as it left me heart-broken. Seems like a perfect mirror to these times if I’m honest.
in keeping with my practice of awarding a rating based on floriography, the language of flowers, giving a hint at the plot as well as my appraisal, I would offer a bouquet of French Willow (bravery and humanity), Red Tulip (declaration of love), Zinnia (thoughts of absent friends), and Adonis (sorrowful remembrance).
Now here’s a peek at a journal page:
What I really like about this page is that it feels like the work of the tears has done the necessary clearing and I’ve moved on to see things from a different perspective. Which of course is the whole point of clearing. Isn’t it a delightful thought to imagine diamonds are tears of the gods – or better yet, splinters of the stars? While in truth I’ve never really coveted diamonds, I wouldn’t turn down a river’s worth of god’s tears that were quartz Herkimer diamonds. I love Herkimers!
But stepping back Dinesen’s remedy of salt water, I’m also recommending frequent salt baths. Salts are great, especially for detoxing and clearing. Epsom salts which are magnesium sulfate can be very relaxing and help release toxins. Baking soda can relieve itchy or sunburned skin, but can also be used to sooth that frazzled-nerves-on-edge-I-want-to-jump-out-of-my-skin feeling as well. Dead sea salts or Celtic salts or Himalayan pink salts are also wonderful additions. I like to make my own combination of mineral-rich salts and then add essential oils (and sometimes a bit of carrier oil as well.
- Recipe: 3 cups of salt, 15-20 drops of essential oils, and optionally, 1 T of carrier oil such as jojoba which can be bit moisturizing. Mix well and store in a tightly sealed jar, perhaps a beautiful glass container. Add ½ – 1 cup per bath. Give the water a little stir to make sure the salts are dissolved.
And finally, because I don’t actually have access to the ocean right now, I’m spending time watching and listening to videos of it. Here’s a short vimeo trailer of a longer video if you’d like a quick sample.
I do hope you’re finding your way during these times – both as an individual and part of the larger collective. Find and utilize what supports you. We have lots of work ahead of us and we need to be the best selves we can be.