How things do circle around.
About this time last year, I was contemplating the everlasting shock of what we already know, that human life is fraught with tragedy; contemplating the human capacity to endure tragedy, the capacity to live, even to take joy, in the face of tragedy; the miraculous potential of human empathy. Late in May last year Kelly, a woman I never met, passed away and it shook me to my core. Everything I have to say today, I said then. Today we learned that a colleague who works in a different office and was pregnant, was induced and died of a pulmonary embolism. She had a loving family, other children...impossible. It's hard to believe one could die will giving life, though we know it to be true.
More than ever in all my life, I touch the edges of the daily trauma of the lives of clients, colleagues, and friends. More than ever, I struggle with my inability not to take things personally, not to take on the pain of what I see or hear. Empathy can serve us all, but as my mother says, if you want to help someone out of a hole, don't crawl in with them. I think I'm getting better at staying grounded, but sometimes things throw me off. The other day, this picture [WARNING] was on the front page of the New York Times. The other day, I stood in line at the bakery and saw this story. And I've had a hard time not dwelling on them. HOW? How can this be? Every right-thinking person knows that children are to be honored, protected, educated, nurtured, and loved. We know that this is what we all need. So why in God's name do we live like this? How could we do this to each other? It never ceases to shock me.
The thing that really gets me is--life is so hard anyway. Without violence or chaos, every day we cope with our mortality, with the randomness and unexpectedness of our lives. Falling in love, birth, the passing of a loved one, separation, growth and change--it's really bad enough without war, poverty, dirty politics and personal violence. And we're continuously perplexed by the rich life of joy and fascination that operates hand in hand with our fragility, our mortality, and the ugly darkness of some human thought and actions. The agony and the ecstasy would seem to be mutually exclusive, rather than inextricably woven. It's a concept that's hard to swallow. And yet...there's something about it that pleases me. I may say so a thousand times before I manage to remember it without sitting down to write.
As I reflect on life today, I can't help but notice how lucky, how very blessed I am. Another thing I've said before--taking pictures, sorting through, uploading a few, is a meditative act of appreciation and increased joy for me. And since the balance of the day could use tipping in joy's direction, here they are. A good way to end the day, like a handful of benedictions.
Anyway, hopefully this is the last Deep Thoughts post from me for a while. It seems like it's a hard time for folks right now. I'm hoping things will turn around soon. I'm hoping for sunshine.