Photo: The ruins of an old lime quarry in the woods of Massachusetts. Silent, lonely, a strong visual of our lasting impression on this world, yet a whisper of how the Earth finds a way to heal and reclaim. It’s also a thought out in the open for anyone who wants it: what’s immediate now is destined to become insignificant later.
There is a chicken simmering away in my stock pot downstairs, Dear Reader. I’m making soup, in need to fill up my body with warm goodness after a weekend that just took it all out of me. It was supposed to be an easy one: I was going to write on Saturday all day, we were going to church on Sunday morning, then we had a photo shoot for our annual Christmas cards in the afternoon. It should have all been so easy… but it just ended up being a hot mess.
It all got done, but adults were mean to each other, children were off the chain, things got dropped (read: my writing got dropped) and I’m sitting here on Monday afternoon feeling achy, cranky, and all tapped out. My back is stiff, my right shoulder seems to have less range of motion than usual, and moving my neck in certain ways hurts like hell. One new thing about my thirties that never happened in my twenties is that stress now manifests physically. What’s up with that? How does anyone get anything done? Words for writing? I hope I can find them. Energy to mother effectively? Yeah, that’s a stretch. Kindness and forgiveness to be a supportive wife… let’s just say I’ve got a stout opened and I’ll probably need another one to get me to that space.
My house smells good. That’s a start. Laundry is going…. that’s good too. This is not a fail post! That’s like, trifecta of goodness for my day. I am half-way through my month and I haven’t posted a fail! This is happening, people! So far, anyway!
This week is the most difficult of all: the Fall Fundraiser for the preschool is on Wednesday and I’m responsible for the breakfast portion of the affair. On order out of my kitchen? 4 loaves of pumpkin bread with a sweet cream-cheese spread, and 4 loaves of brioche. Gotta get my start tonight (brioche is a 3-rise bread, and the second rise is overnight), and then bake all day tomorrow. Not a bad agenda, but there is other stuff to do… like get the draft for Act III done and get a bathroom clean. I think a guy is coming to clean/look at the boiler, too? Lordy… I should probably do a little bit of cleaning, then…
I suppose that I should write a little bit about Paris. We attended church yesterday and I listened to our pastor hastily tag on a few thoughts about it during her sermon. During the Prayers of the People, a lengthy bit was said about Paris and we, as a congregation, in unison, asked the Lord to “hear our prayers” for the city of Paris. People showed their “solidarity” by changing their Facebook profiles into French flags and some such. I watched the news, checked in on the one friend who I know usually frequents the city (she was safe in Maryland on Friday, though heartbroken) and watched all the rest of the madness unfold. I have been listening to the commentary, watching the coverage and… I’m struck, really, by it all. While I mourn the dead and send thoughts and well wishes to the injured, I am flabbergasted by the hasty mobility of hate/fear-mongering that has come after the attacks. Refugees blamed, an entire religion damned, neighbors looked at with newly hot suspicion, political candidates grandstanding and isolating… and then there is the other side–the fact that one day before there was a similar tragedy in Beirut and nobody seemed to care.
People of color, in my Facebook and Twitter feeds, are wondering why the world paused for one city and not another? I asked the Lord to hear my prayers for Beirut and Baghdad, too. It’s not that I don’t care about Paris, I just think it’s striking that when these things happen to the postcard cities, the cities where people travel to and feel good about, the cities where there is history that matters to certain people for certain reasons… the world must stop and must mourn, war must be waged and flags must be waved, anthems must be sung and arms must be locked. Us against them. They can never win. There are cities where safety and security matter and the dead are mourned with vengeful tears. Then there are just other places… that go unnoticed.
A commentator on MSNBC this weekend said, “you have to remember, we’re not fighting a war between nations, we’re fighting a war between value systems.” I thought that was incredibly telling. It tells so much of the story.
I wonder… sincerely… just how much we feed the madness.
Walk in love wherever you are, Dear Reader. Our time here is short, and we have so few precious moments to gladden the hearts of those who walk with us. All of those who walk with us. Open your arms and your heart at least once this week. Your work, in loving service to another, is the best of all prayers for all of us.
Happy Monday, go do something productive. See you Wednesday, Dear Reader.