To arise this morning feeling utterly unable to face my own day, to arise slowly—much more slowly than usual—because my heart and body hurt and my soul is sad alongside them, to arise hours after the sun I usually endeavor to rise with, and then to press through on nothing but sheer will for two hours, bringing myself back to the earth, to life, to gratitude, to responsibilities, even to the heart of my own sadness . . . and then to hear the awful news from Orlando? That, yet again, in a nation graced with vast resources and good people, there has been another mass shooting. Ordinary. Next to nothing by comparison to the devastation my nation continues to mete out to tens of thousands of people far from me every day with unmanned drones and special ops, yes. Next to nothing by comparison to the millions across this world suffering from hunger or thirst, poor housing, vicious policing, greed, and lack or pain of any other kind. And yet: and yet. Everything, it is, for deaths like these are so needless. Too, too many of the deaths on this planet every day are so needless, and the news from Orlando—small by comparison to most elsewheres and yet bitter, so terrible and bitter? Takes my breath away.
Words are my angels, my very breath, my primary means of being alive and surviving, nearly always, but today they stand mute at the destruction my species continues to wreak daily upon itself. Whoever you are, whatever you are facing today, I stand wordless before you. Holding deep in my heart my old, old prayer: God Bless The Whole World, No Exceptions. Today and always. Please.
Except, there is this.
This tree was torn from the ground by a winter wind. Everyone says I should have it removed. I refuse. See how it still sends green leaves skyward, reaching for the sun so that they can turn its light into food for continued life? That tree is where I turn for succor. When I cannot reach or see beyond the pain, I just gaze at its leaves bursting forth from its broken, dying body. And I am still. Haunted, but still. Praying for those in the teeth of today’s storms. Praying for us all.