Namaste

Dear President Trump,

Namaste. I bow to the spark of the Divine in you.

I had always thought “namaste” was a simple greeting, a basic “hello” in another language. I’m not sure how I missed it’s real meaning all these years, what with all the Eastern religion and meditation books I’ve read, but there it is. I looked it up after church this morning because the woman sitting next to me suggested I say “namaste” as a sort of antidote to the temptation to otherize people (like you) who distress and anger me. I’d been talking about how hard it is not to otherize people I don’t understand and who scare me and she rather took issue with even raising the idea of making people into distant others. She felt so strongly about it that it seemed very important to not blow past her suggestion of “namaste” since it clearly wasn’t just a casual “hi” sort of thing.

It really ended up being a unity sort of day so maybe there is something big I need to pay attention to. This afternoon I went to a performance our pastor was participating in and two women from our church organized. The overarching theme of the concert was unity but our pastor pushed the concept right out of the feel-good kumbaya realm into a place where everyone was squirming when she quoted the Reverend Howard Thurman and said something to the effect of “may I recognize that my next breath is wholly dependent on the breath of my worst enemy and my next heartbeat is his heartbeat.” There was a collective gasp and the room went still and then the wisdom of his words channeled through this amazing messenger landed and the people responded with “yes” and “amen” and “oh.” You probably had to be there to feel it, but it was pretty incredible. And then tonight we listened to the local Compline service and the opening song was all about unity with one another and God. The Universe isn’t subtle when it’s trying to get my attention so I guess I better pay attention even though it’s much more comfortable to hang out in a polarized camp far, far away from you and your administration. That’s how we got in this mess, though, so you will continue to be my one-sided pen pal for now.

May we all feel safe enough to recognize our interconnectedness.
May we all be happy to see ourselves in one another.
May we all be healthy and at home with strangers.
May we all honor the divine spark in ourselves and each other.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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