Photo: We’ve been waiting for few cold nights in the low thirties before harvesting our brussels sprouts. Supposedly they taste better if you wait to harvest them. Walking past the three huge plants this morning, I couldn’t help but admire how beautiful they are. I decided to break out my good camera and take a few pictures. I’m very proud to say I’m getting better with manual function and my macro lens!
Yesterday was All Saints Sunday at our church, marked by the annual Requiem performance by our choir, the recitation of the names of the departed since last All Saints Day, and the ringing of the bell to honor them. Fresh off of Grandy’s funeral last year, I attended Requiem because it felt like the right thing to do and I thought that perhaps it would make me feel better. The opposite was true: the somber nature of the service, the incredible beauty of the music mixed with the profound message… it was too much. I lost it. I really just did not handle it well. So this year, I decided to skip it. The very thought of attending brought me to tears, knowing my grief is still just a bit too real and raw. They rang the bell for Christopher, for which I am thankful.
Though I have spent most of my day writing, I admit that part of the reason why I worked so hard is that letting my mind go idle would make me think about Sutherland Springs. I’m disappointed in myself for being so damn numb to it now. All of the research and the warnings seem to pan out: you can become immune to the violence if it becomes a regular occurrence. Sure, I’m disgusted by it, I’m furious at the lawmakers of this country, I’m untrusting of my neighbors and fellow citizens…. but the shock of it is gone now. I practically expect it whenever “breaking news” comes flashing across my screen.
I got on Facebook and wrote my words, went to church and prayerfully lit a candle, spoke in hushed whispers with gathered neighbors, shook my head solemnly at my television screen… honestly, though, I don’t know what else to do anymore. I’m simply not convinced that anyone will ever have the moral backbone, the fighting spirit, and the leadership capability to actually do something of substance on gun control in this country. I know it’s up to more than one individual. Indeed, that’s part of the problem.
So I’m sitting here on the Monday after with my hands open and my shoulders tense wondering what the hell to do. What more can I do? I do? I’m always looking for the thing I can contribute, the good strong push I can give for the mountain that must be moved.. but Lord if I haven’t written so very many words. And Lord if I haven’t made so many appeals.
In my helplessness, I wonder if I should simply join those who are sending their “thoughts and prayers” to the victims all the time. Is that all I can manage, too? Simple thoughts and prayers?
But then I remember that prayer is a verb.
Prayer is a verb. It’s the act of finding stillness and the humble voice necessary to leave your burdens at the alter. Prayer is also a promise: to leave the alter and then take the actions necessary to prepare the way for the miracles you’re asking for. There is no prayer without action. There are no miracles without work.
So when they immediately say “thoughts and prayers,” you know it’s a lie. “Thoughts and prayers” should always be prelude for action, for hard work, for meetings of the mind and thoughtful construction of a new path in a world now changed. But time and again, “thoughts and prayers” have been hollow, insincere, empty words that have meant nothing. They portend to nothing. They’ve been words written or spoken practically by delegation, a trifling assignment given to an intern to tweet rather than a sincerely given condolence. Thoughts and prayers, therefore, can only be received as a despicable, contemptible, abhorrent lie.
I wish I were a smarter person who could offer a solution to this (one of entirely too many) moral crisis of our time. It’s a crisis of morality, a crisis of security, a crisis of sanity, really, and most certainly a crisis of sustainability.
This is not sustainable.
I hope you and I will be safe. Until the next time. And the next time. And the next…
Ok, I’ll get off my soap box.
In more personal news, I have a rather silly thing to tell ya’ll.
I suppose I should start with thanks: a bunch of you bought my novella, Patron of the Meadowlark Inn on Friday. I can’t believe it, honestly. I’m so grateful! I hope you’ll read it and tell me what you think of it! Even if you hate it, that’s cool, too. All feedback is helpful.
That being said, I had to pull it today. You see, I used the self-publishing platform Pronoun to publish the work. I chose Pronoun because it publishes to multiple platforms at once, which makes my life pretty awesome. Well, Pronoun announced that it’s shutting down by the end of the year. Which is just…. haha, The Fates are cruel.
So, fear not. I didn’t lose my book to the ether. It’s still safe on my hard drive and I will simply put it up again by the end of the week. I have not decided what platform I’m going to use to do that yet, but I will make that decision tomorrow and get it done.
If you bought my book and it magically disappears from your kindle or something, please let me know! It hasn’t from mine. I think it’s all good?
I’ll keep you posted. Most of all, though, I have to say it a million times: thank you for supporting me and my fiction. I’m so humbled by your positive response to my first ever published work! Hopefully I will have something more to put out there for you, too. Here’s a sneak preview:
My sister designed that for me! Isn’t she talented!? Anyway, more soon, I hope!
It’s the start of another week. I’m grateful to share it with you, Dear Reader. I hope you take on a bit of the world and make it a better place this week. Let’s lock arms and work for progress together.