I suspect there is a venn diagram we could draw to see how close we breathe to each other, the despair we share no matter our outer circumstances.
The war, of course. The bomb shelled ruins. The threat of nuclear holocaust that is real again. We were children, practicing taking shelter under our school desks in a cold war we didn’t understand. Aren’t all wars hot, incinerating?
And the pictures now of earth taken from satellites. We are no longer blue like the bluest blue marble my brother and I fought over when we were kids. The earth is brown now, slow moving water, less joy, I swear, coming off the photos like a sigh.
I could go on. Our healthcare system is broken. The wildfires rage in the drought-stricken high desert where I live and the homeless are on every corner of my tourist destination city.
How to wake each morning and want to plant my feet upon the ground? How to find the spark of hope that maybe all is not quite so lost?
I start by bowing to the love that fills my life. My husband and grown daughter. My fabulous circle of women friends who follow me down the dark alleys of my mind with chocolate and wild laughter.
The mountains where the long-legged aspens refuse despair, where they dress up every fall and wave their gold silk hankies. Hello Sailor!
The full moon like a giant cocktail onion waiting for her martini.
The farmers’ market.
The indie bookstores.
The coop for christsake with fresh local produce.
My legs my arms my eyes tongue stomach heart lungs and liver.
Help I say softly to the unseens. Scrub me clean of despair that I might be worthy of these blessings. Open me to the mystery of my own life, how I came from darkness and will return to it at last.
Open me to the chorus always humming hallelujah in the chambers of my heart. Let me use all ten fingers to pry open my stuckness to let the song out, let the finches doves and bluebirds fly out singing yes singing now singing always.
May I go down singing. May I always flirt with the elderly.
And when despair chills me and I turn cold to the suffering of others, warm me that I might be kinder, truer, more willing to bend, to be wrong, to be laid low with sorrow. To see my own broken heart in the mirror of your love.