If It Makes Me Happy

For the past few weeks, I’ve been hearing the Sheryl Crow song “If It Makes You Happy” in my head, especially the chorus:

If it makes you happy

It can’t be that bad.

If it makes you happy

Then why the hell are you so sad?

Those lyrics capture how I’ve been feeling about the COVID situation lately. It’s as if my guides are saying “you wanted this, didn’t you?” And it’s true; I’ve been longing for some paradigm rattling global event for years. When it became clear in March that the novel coronavirus would sweep the globe, the impish part of me was undeniably excited: the seismic shaking of the jar had arrived.

But the collective grief and loss of the past 4 months have finally come knocking at my door, and I have to make room for the Dark Mother. All of my daily tasks are accompanied by deadweight, and now that I’m dealing with this profound heaviness that so many other people are carrying, I guess I’m a bit more sober. I don’t get to be an aloof spectator to the Great Unravelling, or even an ascendant beacon of hope and energy amidst the darkness (that can come later).

The racial disparities in COVID-19 outcomes in the United States are an echo of the genocides of native people that were integral to the founding of the American nation state. I and my co-citizens have also had to contend with shambolic politics, massive (yet inevitable) failures in unadulterated capitalism, and the institutional persistence of racial caste systems. All told, we’re being forced to deal with inherited karma and the historical baggage of our culture. Even though I’ve been anticipating for months that we as a global collective would be forced to deal with our shadows in this time, I too am struggling, to the point where it feels like I’m moving through molasses. But I guess that’s the point; we can’t quantum leap forward until we’ve been dragged through the mud. As Charlotte Du Cann repeatedly tells her readers, we must descend if we are to transform. We must learn to embrace the Dark Mother.

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