Bless My Daily Tears

by | Jun 14, 2022 | Featured, Instagram, News

Bless my daily tears.

The first time I walked into Minneapolis First Universalist Church, my face was fresh with tears. I was newly estranged from a loved one, and the pain was sharp. 

It just so happened that day was Remembrance Sunday. Congregants lined up in both aisles and spoke the names of loved ones who had transitioned into whatever comes next; loved ones who were no longer in their lives. We were invited to turn to a neighbor and introduce ourselves, share about a loss we had endured that year. I turned to a man with a sweet smile in the pew behind me and told him that I had lost my relationship with a loved one. His eyes turned wet with mine as he took what I said to mean my loved one had died. I was crying too much to correct him, and anyways, the difference felt small. 

Bless my daily tears. 

The saltwater that streams from my eyes is the sea, just as my body is the stars. Bless my daily tears because they remind me that we are interconnected. They tell me to slow down, remind me to grieve. 

Bless the tears that come when I listen to the news, the tears that seep from me when our bodily autonomy is stripped, when rain doesn’t come or it does, and all at once. Crying, and laughing, are so human, and for that bless my tears.

The first time I witnessed the Remembrance ceremony, I thought I might shatter as I struggled to reconcile my new reality. The ritual, the speaking aloud, the holding together soothed my shaking soul. 

And now, the collective struggles are clear. How do we bear a human-driven ecological crisis? How will we survive the rapidly increasing weather crises? How will we access the basic things we need: nourishing food, clean water, shelter, healthcare, cultural and historical understanding of ourselves and our communities? So many of us are lacking these necessities already.

I am curious, as I begin my work with Iowa Interfaith Power and Light, how ceremony and ritual might play a role. How can we welcome one another across unimaginable differences in order to ensure our collective survival. Where can we thrive right now? 

I am turning my attention to sacred gathering, non-judgmental inquiry, and collective power. We cannot bear this alone. I am excited to see what we can imagine together.

Bless my daily tears, and yours.

Hi! My name is elston, and I use they/them pronouns. I am excited to work as an IA IPL Rural Faith Organizer based on Ioway and Oceti Sankowin land in Stuart, Iowa. I have been farming organic fruit and vegetables in MN and WI since 2019, and currently work with beef cattle here in Stuart. I identify with Jewish and Unitarian Universalist faith traditions, and am forever grateful for the way that faith stimulates my imagination and lights the path forward.

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