The news has me deep in thought.
Life. Death. Lies. Rape. Excuses. Poverty. War. Befouled earth. Fear.
My mind tries to wrap around what grieves my heart. Looking for – experiencing – beauty and kindness keeps my boat from tipping and drawing water.
No longer am I wondering, “What kind of world will we leave our kids and grandkids?”
Instead, I have begun rhetorically asking:
“What kind of species mucks up such opportunity as water, land, and fresh air just to make a bigger widget or billions of bucks?”
“What makes harming another human ‘sport’ or ’20 minutes of action’ (rape) not result in punishment fitting the crime?”
“How the hell does a vile racist misogynistic clueless elitist have a shot at representing 3.23 million Americans?”
As much as I try to ferret out the hows and why we got here, the reality remains:
We are here.
And by here I mean despite the fluidity of the historical record, there is no redacting history. Each day of each life happened and we – despite our tenderheartedness or best wishfulness – cannot undo it.
We breathe at this moment and forward if we are fortunate.
Our foolish or felonious days are not erased by our best kept moments.
Though our history – collective and individual – are set in the ether of reality, our next steps and next years need not be assumed “already written.”
I have to tell myself this as I consider the pitfalls of being human and a human with my history.
Despite the car wreck and inability to revive him along that Christmas road…and the blood on my new boots and how that wrecked me for a while
Among the too many other stories of rape and childhood neglect and the brokeness that creates in a young human
Through foolishness and the ever-present need to ask forgiveness of kids and friends
Echoes of potential not yet met and the hazards of having to do-over in every area at once …with no cause for celebration
And into the pitfalls of this unknown and already weary day
Where do we go? How do we attempt to undo damage to our terra ferma, relationships, homeland?
There is hope.
I don’t know if that hope has a name, but I see the sun and hear the birds in their high-knit nests on my way to work and cannot help but smile.
Music from a distant time and place fills my office; the wonder of it all – the music transcending time from long-dead musicians whose mother-tongue I do not know
Babies born each day. Some of those babies will have the worst possible start and live to love with such out-toward fullness, their lives will be counted among giants. Perhaps they will find ways to heat, illuminate, end cancer, and bring fresh water to thirsty, hungry, broken people…like you and I.
Stories of old men and women who made it through more years than most
Munich and Ulm
With all the pitfalls of being human, we have reasons to hope and ease the way forward a bit.
Only this hope cannot be hoarded like money or “stuff” and the ease can never be just for ourselves. It must be shared freely and without expectation.
As a species, we climb mountains, clean seas, restore hearing, dream big, and have a capacity for love-in-action.
We have one shot at good in this life in this moment.
Amid all the pitfalls, let us be brave and share what inspires our derring do because – from the most humble shack on the Siberian steppe to the hammocks of the warm weather people on the Chaco and every color, economy, history, and dream in between –
we are in this together.
When we forget this, all is lost.