can you stay?

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Being alive here on earth has always been a mixed grill at best, lovely, hard, and confusing. Good and bad things happen to good and bad people. That’s not much of a system: a better one would be a silverware drawer for joy, sorrows, doldrums, madness, ease. But no, Eden explodes and we enter a dangerous, terrifying world, the same place where goodness, love, and kind intelligence lift us so often. The world has an awful beauty. This is a chaotic place, humanity is a chaotic place,a nd I am a chaotic place.

I’ve lived through times when a connected group of humans in grief and shock stayed together as things unscrolled, when a person was dying too young, or after. What could we do? We showed up. When our best friends’ teenagers disappeared, when their fathers lost their minds, or their babies or mates were in ICU. We lay beside them in bed and held them in our arms. We brought the bereaved a sandwich. We let them vent, maybe watched a little TV together. We offered our presence, our warm bodies, and the willingness to feel like s**t with them. One even bigger gift: no snappy answers. We could nod, sigh, cry with them; maybe go to a park. Against all odds, these things work, however imperfectly, when a closed system breaks open and turmoil ensues: this collective, imperfect, hesitant help is another kind of miracle.

Naturally one wants to avoid these kinds of miracles. We’d prefer routine, predictability, to never be ashamed or afraid, let alone aghast. But comfort zones leak. If anyone is so good that he or she should be spared, you can safely assume that person is in the line of fire. Fair is where the pony rides are. In lovely closed systems, timers are set: tick tick tick.

You can say that certain tragic events are unfair and humiliating, but really, they are just true. Randomness and brutality are just what is: but so is mercy.

~Anne Lamott

when can we ever consider despair, shame, and dark hours as true and raw and honorable guides?

inquiry for today~   may your day be filled with rainbows so that you live well in darker times……

insight into light

Empty your own boat as you cross the river of the world.

~Chuang Tzu

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