Day, after day, after day. One after the other. It has been a constant stream of gun violence, racism, the nature of consent, and U.S. Presidential candidates that make one’s head spin.
It’s paralysing. It is all engulfing, pervasive, and constant.
And then some confused, angry, homophobic Muslim walks into a gay bar in Florida, with some crazy and legal automatic weapon, and 49 people lay dead, and countless others lay bleeding.
It is shattering, in so many ways, on so many levels.
I’ve found myself lost in thought, wondering where I fit. Wondering what I could possibly add, what I could possibly say that would make even a seedling of difference. But instead, I’ve remained silent.
Lately, Mom, the news has been so overwhelmingly tragic that just as you collect your thoughts from the last, you are faced with yet another. Tears streaming down your face from whatever new injustice this big bad world has on offer, well, seem like tears in the ocean.
I read the words on the screen, look at the pictures, digest the contents of what people say, what they think, and frankly, I have no idea anymore. None.
Yesterday before work, for instance, I just lay in bed watching re-runs of Time Team. Even other people at work were commenting on how tired they felt. I wonder. I imagine many have felt this same sense of exhaustion at this constant barrage of hatred, violence, and intolerance. This sense of helplessness.
Tear are not enough. Words are inadequate.
I feel this pervasive sense of frustration and anger. People going off on narcissistic tangents, like toddlers having a meltdown in the toy aisle. So many seem completely devoid of compassion. Completely unable to show even a modicum of respect for whatever value, belief or creed that opposes their own. Has it always been this way?
So many of the recent events have affected me, in one way or another, at a personal level. And I am at a loss for words.
The only time I really feel any sense of relief is on Rose. Riding to work, peddling away, I am free from everything but what lies ahead. I mean, seriously, cause if not I could get hurt. It is easy to put it all behind you and concentrate on just that moment, just the now. Even today, when I know it may rain, I am contemplating riding to work.
Besides the financial and health benefits, that ride offers a welcome reprieve.
As I was making my way yesterday, through suburbia to work, I admired this one particular garden. Lush with foliage, and sprinkled with these simple daisies throughout, it was so wild and lovely. It is at odds with everything else around, and I would never have even noticed it if I’d been on the bus.
So I’m biking home after work, through the same area, and ahead of me is this wobbly older woman, and so I slow and give my bell a little ring so she’ll know I’m there.
‘BRING’, so she turns and says “oh dear, I am sorry, wobbly old me is in your way“.
I thanked her, said no, it is fine. But as I was riding away, I called back to her “I love your beautiful garden“.
For the garden I had admired just that morning, was hers.
Every single detail matters.
Yet, sometimes, you just have to get away from it. Stand on the outside, turn your head away, and immerse yourself instead in the simple beauty of this mad world. To turn away from the anger, the violence, the intolerance. To be a bearer of light, and turn away from the dark and evil of this place, this now.
This world can be a very sad place, but oh man, can it also be so very beautiful. So beautiful, that the tears in my eyes are from the glistening of hope that beauty imparts. I cling to that hope sometimes, like a life raft on that ocean of tears.
2 thoughts on “Reaching Out To The Strangers That Surround Us.”
We are at war… with hatred, with fear, with anger, with injustice… I believe love and courage and acceptance will win … but it wears me down. We all feel that tiredness as we head out to do battle every day. I have found it hard to put it all into words but have found peace as I read others’ reflections. Thank you for yours, Paula.
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A friend recently posted this article, basically comparing modern society to the spectators at the Collesium. Like this enmass of people, ensconced behind their computer screens, yelling yeh or nay in response to the current repugnant act of humanity before us. She said she wanted to be better then that…and I agree.