It is 2:22 pm on a Wednesday afternoon. In my world, it’s blog time. Usually editing. Maybe hunting for art. Fine tuning sorts of things.
Today, there is only Natalie Goldberg’s advice to writers. “Write what’s in front of your face.”
What’s in front of my face today is probably much like what’s in front of your face.
A lurking threat of tears.
The mass killing in Las Vegas. The hundreds upon hundreds wounded. The thousands dealing with trauma and grief.
The millions more of us caught somewhere between absolute shock and not.
Ditto, hurricane victims. Floods. Fires. Earthquakes.
Not to mention toxic water and global warming and starvation and war.
The innocence so many of us were raised with.
“We are Americans/educated/comfortable/insured/religious people… We are safe”.
Clearly, it’s not true. It wasn’t true then either.
It was just easier to pretend.
Easier when we didn’t carry all the stories of the whole world in our pockets.
Easier when we were not bombarded with 24/7 news.
Easier when we thought the news was true.
Today, however, our huge world is shrinking. We are neighbors with more people than ever before.
I think that’s worth remembering.
It feels terrifying in the sense that it appears to give “them” more power.
It also gives “us” more power.
You and me.
Power to choose how we spend our money and who that supports.
Power to choose how we vote.
Power to speak out.
Power to choose compassion over entitlement.
Power to do good where we can.
Power to teach love rather than fear. Tolerance rather than hate.
Power to make art and live love.
It isn’t easy. It never has been.
And, as my dear friend Henry Close would say, “If you’re not depressed some of the time, you’re not paying attention.”
All any of us can do is feel what we feel.
And do what we believe.
The only moment we have is this moment.
It’s time to teach our children well.
As is often true, Kleenex may be required.