Patchwork Resistance: Mindfulness in Action

Photo by Marv

I was literally spinning last week— an acute bout of vertigo. It happened, out of the blue, as I began my usual routine of stretches in bed. No sooner did my head hit the mattress when the walls began to spin. I sat up, too suddenly, setting off a rocket reeling spin and acute anxiety.

Like the fallout from Trump‘s presidency, this inflammation had been building. Mid-winter sinus pressure was not new. I hadn’t paid enough attention. The weight of my head was real and slowed me down. Twenty-four hour mindfulness (without exaggeration, even in bed, to avoid sudden motion) was necessary to hold off the spinning sensation.

I was grateful to move from bed to steam pot to my computer. I was grateful for Marvin’s presence to assure my safety.

I researched and began alternative anti-viral remedies. When I saw my doctor, she approved, and raised my blood pressure medication a tad. Thankfully, she is cautious and resonated with my self-diagnosis: “Trump anxiety.”

For weeks, I’d been sad. My clogged sinuses made sense. Not once had I cried.

Over breakfast, January 30th, I was served a plateful of gratitude . On the Boston Globe’s front page, the lead story —“A Stroke of the Pen, then 34 Tense Hours in Boston.” Journalists Ramos and Ryan told the story of a “patchwork resistance “in which two women, Susan Church and Heather Yountz, friends and lawyers, demonstrated how mindful attention and a willingness to step up can make a remarkable difference.

Both women are mothers: Saturday meant sports for Church and for Yountz, taking her son to an immigration rally on the Common. Given Trump’s order to limit immigration from seven Muslim-minority countries, “They knew they had to come up with a plan.” By mid-morning, the order was being enforced, and a citizen from one of the affected countries was put on a flight back to Europe.

These women worked together to carry their immigrant legal training forward. They acted—went to the airport and posted flyers in search of a person being detained. By 6:00 p.m., an Air France flight having just arrived,” they realized this might be their last chance to find someone.” In minutes, they overheard a woman, also waiting, speak of a case-by-case vetting procedure and recognized that these very people might be waiting for a loved one to be released.

They engaged a plaintiff, connected with ACLU lawyers, wrote the complaint, phoned a judge, coordinated a complaint suing President Trump, divvied up the pleadings, offered the case in court and waited. At 1:00 the  morning. of January 31st, four lawyers, three women and a man, won a temporary stay.

As I write this, I am grateful to feel less sad. Clear in head, I am steady on my feet and grateful that “patchwork resistance” in the hands of civic-minded citizens is making a difference. Case in point: though the seven-day Boston stay was not continued, later on the last day, a Seattle judge ruled to halt immigration across the entire country!




8 thoughts on “Patchwork Resistance: Mindfulness in Action

  1. Rosemary Booth

    I admire how the writer shifts perspective from her personal pain to the wider world’s turmoil and “vertigo,” and finds a reason to be grateful on that broader stage. I also like the photo–which seems to suggest that the act of balancing even a lightweight, small object (a book) requires stillness, and attention.

    1. fayewriter Post author

      Rosemary, I so appreciate your careful reading and resonance to this piece and especially re: the picture. I followed my instinct to show my own deliberate effort. I’m grateful that you pinpointed what words could not describe.

    2. sheila kempler

      So nice to end on a positive note. The patriots manage to turn failures into success. Lets hope we continue to find ways to do the same in the white house, peacefully. Sheila

      1. fayewriter Post author

        Sheila, yes, what a terrific analogy. Last night’s Super Bowl win for the Patriot’s was truly inspirational— a common goal based on the events of the struggle of the past two years plus the current challenge, coalescing in the “do or die” push to the end zone….Yes, may we find ways to resist and make a difference. Hope the shelling is good. Take good care.

  2. Elizabeth Levinsky

    Both Phil and I have had horrible vertigo; it lasted quite a long time. Ours was caused by a crystal oe crystals that escaped from the tubes in our ear. Therapy helped us. I hope your lack of dizziness continues for ever!

    1. fayewriter Post author

      Thanks, Liza. Next time we talk, I’d like to hear more about your therapy. So far, I’m holding my own!

  3. Pat

    United we stand! I’m also grateful for the brave senators, McCain and Graham who are standing up for what they believe. Trying to increase my yoga practice which helps to stay grounded, less reactive and centered! Thank you Faye for staying the course.

    1. fayewriter Post author

      Unite and remain united, yes! I’m more and more aware of the implications of needing to stay grounded for the long haul. The discipline of a practice such as Yoga seems just right; I feel that way about Tai’Chi. We walk side by side, Pat!

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