Thursday, May 28, 2020

I am weary...

  I am tired.  Physically and emotionally and spiritually. The world and it's people are breaking my heart and I feel like I can't take it one more minute. I have cried several times today. First it was the video of George Floyd being murdered by the police in Minnesota. Hearing him beg  to get off him, that he "can't breathe" and the cop  just leaning in harder.    What kind of human being does that to another ?  Police meant to protect and serve, murdering people every year, rogue cops getting away with it over and over. This particular officer has a long history of  complaints  of police brutality. And nothing was ever done to him about any of them. I cry for Mr. Floyd's family, and for every mother and father who live in fear of their black children going outside or walking down the street. I cry for a world so ugly and so full of fear.  Then I learned of the death of my friends baby, less than 48 hours after birth. He had a heart defect and they were all ready to have him in surgery tomorrow morning, but he started having trouble breathing and then his little heart just couldn't keep him alive.  This young family is grieving the tragedy of their loss in the midst of this crazy pandemic and the whole world is upside down. I cried through the entire tale of the birth and the beautiful baby boy and his untimely death. And I don't claim to understand the laws of the Universe or the will of God... but I see no purpose in either of these deaths. and it breaks my heart.

  I generally tend to keep a cloak of optimism around me. I wouldn't have survived life on this planet for this long without it.  I want to believe that we can be better. That people can change. That love can prevail.  And then I see the headlines of  this administration destroying Native burial grounds to build a wall. Of a lying and conniving man in the highest post of this country who has used this presidency to line his pockets and those of anyone who may be useful to him. Who spreads hate and division on a scale never before seen in this country.  And I cry for democracy. And I cry for the poor.  And I cry for myself. 

  And so, Thursday has been my Day of Grief.  I feel like I am losing hope. I feel like I can't do enough to appease my activist heart.  I feel like no one is doing enough. I feel like I have never seen so many people blinded by their fear and their ignorance and their hate. And I don't know who I am or where I live or what is going to happen.  I try to keep my feet grounded in the day and not become so overwhelmed by it all that I am paralyzed. Or worse.  I don't want to become so angry that I don't recognize myself anymore. Even so, on days like today, I feel myself slipping away.  Where is that place people can go to insulate themselves as though it were none of their business or not their fault or giving up entirely the thought that they can do something to make a difference ?  I cannot in good conscience escape this. I cannot turn a blind eye to children at the border in camps, separated from their parents. To immigrants being turned away because of the color of their skin. To people dying because they cannot afford health care or food or shelter, here, in this richest country in the world. I cannot ignore it. It hurts my heart daily. And my heart is old. It is tired.

  I am reminded of a poem written by Wendell Berry,  which gives me the strength and grace to live another day...
The Peace of Wild Things
Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives might be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief.  I come into the presence  of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

From The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry (Counterpoint, 1999),

   So...I will have my one day of  tears and heartbreak, and I will re-wrap myself in this cloak of hope and optimism, and chant and pray and dance for better days to come.  And try to remember...


DJan said...

You have made me cry in reading this post. I feel exactly the same about the state of the world, and especially our country. Thank you for that poem. I will read it again when I am feeling down. Blessings, elegant or not, are what we need now. Sending you a virtual hug.

Anonymous said...

Insightful and thoughtful, and exactly how I feel some days. I take comfort in my friends and critter kids, plus reading blogs like yours seeing how others are coping and carrying on. You're strong and will make it through. Because you care, you feel, plus you think and I believe most people do the same. You're in my thoughts and prayers.

Jane said...

My cloak appears to be one of denial. I see it with disbelief in my heart and shake my head. What else can “one person” do but pray for the world? I love you Annie and I wish for you the cloak of acceptance tempered with God’s will as we trudge along.

Akannie said...

Thank you everyone... this morning I feel a little better, even though I couldn't sleep well and am walking around in a half fog. You are my heart...

yellowdoggranny said...

it's a sad day...and just getting sadder..I just think it's the beginning of the end of peace..