Where in the world have I been?
Why have I been so unusually quiet?
Why haven’t I written a blog post, updated my Cottage classes, been available for fun activities, returned your phone calls, responded to your e-mails, or been out & about around town?
Is Albert okay? Am I okay?
What’s up with KaitieBug?
I’ve been struggling. Really struggling. Really really really struggling.
I’ve been sad. I’ve been ill. I’ve been overwhelmed. I’ve been deeply daunted by the escalating hatred, hostility, violence, and cruelty in our world.
I’ve been angry and bewildered and hopeless and sick.
It’s very rare for Susie Sunshine to be so down & out, but I confess I have been in a morass of darkness…a sea of despair…a deep well of depression.
I have felt depleted and lost. I have been immobilized by anxiety.
In these dark and troubled times, I am not proud to be an American.
It’s not merely a difference of philosophy or a conflict of politics anymore. It’s a matter of human decency, honesty, morality, and conscience.
I’m disgusted, disappointed, and demoralized.
I’ve written and called my representatives, I’ve been in the streets with thousands of other appalled citizens, and I’ve been doing all I can in my own small ways to raise the banner of tolerance and compassion…but, at the end of the day,
But it has taken a huge toll.
My health has taken another dangerous turn, I’m not sleeping or eating properly, I’m not handling the heat well, and I’m stuck in an incredulous panic about the way the world is grinding down the rules of basic human kindness and civility as we become increasingly more brutal and heartless as a society.
Teresa, one of the little girls I mentor, wrote a story about a crabby, bigoted, mean old woman who hated everyone and everything until she went blind and realized no one wanted to help her. She had always hated anyone who wasn’t white, anyone who wasn’t Christian, anyone who didn’t speak her language. She was mad that her neighborhood was changing and immigrants were moving in. She was resentful and mean-spirited. Her own children never called or visited. But one day, the old woman found a basket on her doorstep with fresh bread, jam, and peaches in it. Another day, after a big snow storm, she found her walkway shoveled. One night a woman came and offered to tidy the old woman’s house, wash her sheets, water her plants, weed her garden, in trade for some walnuts from her neglected tree. Some children came by after school and began to read to her in trade for borrowing some of her books. On the eve of a huge blizzard, a man came with a load of firewood in trade for the use of an old rusty shovel forgotten in her toolshed. Soon, she was surrounded by people who were helping her and her life became good and happy. On the day of her funeral, the little neighborhood chapel was full…Niema from Africa, Hassaum from Afghanistan, Renaldo from Mexico, Tieena from Puerto Rico, Moses Jefferson Brown, missing both legs from the Iraq War, were all there.
So I keep coming back to this:
In the midst of my despair, I realize all I can do is continue to hold out my hand, carry the light, bring food and water and solace and heart to those who need it most, and stand the high ground; hopefully with you by my side.
All we can do is gather in prayer and peace and gratitude and hope and action. All we can do is pour into the streets, stand at the barricades, lift our voices, raise our ideals, sing our songs of tolerance and inclusiveness. All we can do is remember that we are not alone…that there are people all over the world who stand with us, who cry with us, who are outraged and heart-sick and moved to action with us.
Don’t give up. Don’t stop crying or caring. Don’t stop being a part of the outcry against hatred, violence, and war. Take a breath, shake off the despair, and find a way to help. Somehow. Find a way to help.
Through the tears…
With Much Love,
© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2018. All Rights Reserved.