Tag Archives: hope

Words For The Weekend (Dear Someone Struggling With Grief and Pain), Volume 46

Another unconventional Words for the Weekend post (for the weekend of 08/31/13, Volume 46) and an unexpected one as I had said I would be taking this weekend off. However, I received such an outpouring of support from “My Grace is Gone” and discovered so many of you are struggling right now with grief and with alcohol abuse, some of you with both.

Some of you are barely hanging on right now.

I received a touching e-mail from a lady who recently lost her mother. She was so brave to reach out and share some of her pain with me. What follows is a portion of my reply.

This week I also include some songs, quotes and a poem, some previously shared in past volumes, that bring me comfort. I hope they do the same for you.

This weekend’s volume is dedicated to her and to others in pain. It will be sunny one day. 

***

Dear __,
Bless you.
Thank you so much for reaching out to me and sharing your pain.
As much as I want to tell you “just don’t drink,” I know it’s not that easy. I know the pain is unbearable, and I know that desire to make it stop at any price.
It will get different in time.
Not necessarily better or easier, but it gets bearable. Scar tissue forms.
I do know drinking doesn’t make the pain go away. Nothing will, honey, so embrace the pain. If you used to run, you know this concept. You hurt and ache and you want to stop, but you keep going anyway. You run through the pain.
And that’s what grief is. You feel the pain, but you keep going anyway.
Embrace it and know it hurts because of how much you loved. The pain is a link to that love.
View the pain as a good thing. A reminder you are alive, a reminder of love, a reminder of your mom.
It hurts to do things sober.
But you do not want to vanish. You cannot. Your mom needs you to stay here, stay present. Remember her, you will feel her in your heart the longer you stay sober and clear-headed. You will see signs if you look for them…
Find solace in that love, find grace in the pain, and find comfort in knowing you are not alone. You’ll find no answers in a wineglass. I tried for years.
You are your mother’s living legacy. Use her grace to live well.
With love,
Christy

*

letter page 1April 10, 2006

Dear Crystal,

I’m so sorry to hear that life is getting you down at the moment. Goodness knows, it can be so tough when nothing seems to fit and little seems to be fulfilling. I’m not sure there’s any specific advice I can give that will help bring life back its savour. Although they mean well, it’s sometimes quite galling to be reminded how much people love you when you don’t love yourself that much.

I’ve found that it’s of some help to think of one’s moods and feelings about the world as being similar to weather:

Here are some obvious things about the weather:

It’s real.
You can’t change it by wishing it away.
If it’s dark and rainy it really is dark and rainy and you can’t alter it.
It might be dark and rainy for two weeks in a row.

BUT

It will be sunny one day.
It isn’t under one’s control as to when the sun comes out, but come out it will.
One day.

It really is the same with one’s moods, I think. The wrong approach is to believe that they are illusions. They are real. Depression, anxiety, listlessness – these are as real as the weather – AND EQUALLY NOT UNDER ONE’S CONTROL. Not one’s fault.

BUT

They will pass: they really will.

In the same way that one has to accept the weather, so one has to accept how one feels about life sometimes. “Today’s a crap day,” is a perfectly realistic approach. It’s all about finding a kind of mental umbrella. “Hey-ho, it’s raining inside: it isn’t my fault and there’s nothing I can do about it, but sit it out. But the sun may well come out tomorrow and when it does, I shall take full advantage.”

I don’t know if any of that is of any use: it may not seem it, and if so, I’m sorry. I just thought I’d drop you a line to wish you well in your search to find a little more pleasure and purpose in life.

Very best wishes

(Signed)

Stephen Fry

From site: Letters of Note, originally appeared in Volume 28. Letters Of Note: The Book will be published October 2013.

*

“But you can’t get to any of these truths by sitting in a field smiling beatifically, avoiding your anger and damage and grief. Your anger and damage and grief are the way to the truth. We don’t have much truth to express unless we have gone into those rooms and closets and woods and abysses that we were told not go in to. When we have gone in and looked around for a long while, just breathing and finally taking it in – then we will be able to speak in our own voice and to stay in the present moment. And that moment is home.”  ~ Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, originally appeared in Volume 35

*

“We stumble on… bring a little noise into the silence, find in others the ongoing of ourselves.  It is almost enough… The world spins.  We stumble on.  It is enough.” ~ Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spinoriginally appeared in Sunday Words

*

“There is no escape from the slave catcher’s songs
For all of the loved ones gone
Forever’s not so long

And in your soul they poked a million holes
But you never let ‘em show
Come on, it’s time to go

And you already know
Yeah, you already know how this will end”

How It Ends by DeVotchKa

*

“Grief can destroy you –or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. OR you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn’t allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it’s over and you’re alone, you begin to see that it wasn’t just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can’t get off your knees for a long time, you’re driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.” ~ Dean Koontz, “Odd Hours“, originally appeared in Volume 9

*

“Hold this heart when I go
sing my song when I go
sing it loud when I go
sing it proud when I go
some people are learning to die and some people are yearning to fly…

Oh the thought of death has yet to make me afraid
’cause I will march right off this world into the next like it’s a grand parade
but if you feel lonely just like you want to run and hide
then I’ll wrap my wings around you and give you strength and I won’t leave your side
and I’ll watch over you
I’ll watch over you
oh, my care will cover you just like the moon’ll do

you know I’d love to get to heaven
you know I’d love to see the view
but first I think I’ll stay and watch over you”

When I Go by Brett Dennen

*

“Whether you’ve seen angels floating around your bedroom or just found a ray of hope at a lonely moment, choosing to believe that something unseen is caring for you can be a life-shifting exercise.” ~ Martha Beck, originally appeared in Sunday Words

*

“If I ever leave this world alive
I’ll thank you for all the things you did in my life
If I ever leave this world alive
I’ll come back down and sit beside your
feet tonight
Wherever I am you’ll always be
More than just a memory
If I ever leave this world alive

If I ever leave this world alive
I’ll take on all the sadness
That I left behind
If I ever leave this world alive
The madness that you feel will soon subside
So in a word don’t shed a tear
I’ll be here when it all gets weird
If I ever leave this world alive”

If I Ever Leave This World Alive by Flogging Molly

*

nobody but you – by Charles Bukowski

nobody can save you but
yourself.
you will be put again and again
into nearly impossible
situations.
they will attempt again and again
through subterfuge, guise and
force
to make you submit, quit and /or die quietly
inside.

nobody can save you but
yourself
and it will be easy enough to fail
so very easily
but don’t, don’t, don’t.
just watch them.
listen to them.
do you want to be like that?
a faceless, mindless, heartless
being?
do you want to experience
death before death?

nobody can save you but
yourself
and you’re worth saving.
it’s a war not easily won
but if anything is worth winning then
this is it.

think about it.
think about saving your self.
your spiritual self.
your gut self.
your singing magical self and
your beautiful self.
save it.
don’t join the dead-in-spirit.

maintain your self
with humor and grace
and finally
if necessary
wager your self as you struggle,
damn the odds, damn
the price.

only you can save your
self.

do it! do it!

then you’ll know exactly what
I am talking about.

“nobody but you” by Charles Bukowski from Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way, 2002

This poem was recently shared in last month’s Volume 41 (Sometimes I Wish), but I felt it a perfect closing for this week. Save your self. Do it! Do it! You’re worth saving. Do not drown in your grief. Do not drown your sorrows. Your sorrows know how to swim. Better than you do. Save your self. Do it! Do it! You are so worth it. ~ Christy

(I won’t be responding to comments right away due to my marathon training (in fact, if you see me on-line this weekend, tell me to back away slowly from the computer and to take my “baby donkey” for a run) but if you have a song or poem that comforts you or some thoughts to comfort anyone else hurting, please, please feel free to share. Have a peaceful weekend, and for those in the U.S., a fun Labor Day holiday.)

Words For The Weekend (“There Goes a Fighter”, “It Will Be Sunny One Day”), Volume 28

This is the latest installment of quotes and words that move me for the weekend of 2/9/13 (Volume 28). I hope you enjoy them too.

As most of you know, Spot’s diagnosis came back as high-grade, large-cell, multi-centric lymphoma. We have opted to “get medieval on cancer’s ass” (see video below) with weekly chemo starting this Wednesday. I am immersing myself in canine cancer research and spending time with Spot, but I will try to put out the  occasional update post and inspirational weekend quotes and music post. Oh, it turns out my sugar-free January experiment may have been good practice because we will be making some big changes to Spot’s diet and nutrition (in a nutshell, sugar is bad, bad, bad for cancer patients as it feeds the cancer cells). The good news is, fat is good for cancer dogs- and bacon is full of it AND it’s sugar-free!

If bad-language doesn’t offend you, check out this video clip from Pulp Fiction… HERE… we’re pretty far from okay, but we’re going to fight!  (Link is not suitable for work or young ears due to language.)

~~~

“Until the referee rings the bell
Until both your eyes start to swell
Until the crowd goes home
What we gonna do y’all?
Give ‘em hell, turn their heads
Gonna live life til we’re dead.
Give me scars, give me pain
Then they’ll say to me, say to me, say to me
There goes a fighter, there goes a fighter
Here comes a fighter
That’s what they’ll say to me, say to me
Say to me, this one’s a fighter…”

~ Gym Class Heroes, “The Fighter”, on album “The Papercut Chronicles II“, video link HERE.

*

Alternate song: “Move Along” performed by All American Rejects from “Move Along“, video link HERE

“Go ahead as you waste your days with thinking
When you fall everyone stands
Another day and you’ve had your fill of sinking
With the life held in your
Hands are shaking cold
These hands are meant to hold
Speak to me, when all you got to keep is strong
Move along, move along like I know you do
And even when your hope is gone
Move along, move along just to make it through
Move along
Move along…
When everything is wrong, we move along
(Go on, go on, go on, go on)
When everything is wrong, we move along
Along, along, along…”

*

“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.” ~ Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

*

letter page 1

April 10, 2006

Dear Crystal,

I’m so sorry to hear that life is getting you down at the moment. Goodness knows, it can be so tough when nothing seems to fit and little seems to be fulfilling. I’m not sure there’s any specific advice I can give that will help bring life back its savour. Although they mean well, it’s sometimes quite galling to be reminded how much people love you when you don’t love yourself that much.

I’ve found that it’s of some help to think of one’s moods and feelings about the world as being similar to weather:

Here are some obvious things about the weather:

It’s real.
You can’t change it by wishing it away.
If it’s dark and rainy it really is dark and rainy and you can’t alter it.
It might be dark and rainy for two weeks in a row.

BUT

It will be sunny one day.
It isn’t under one’s control as to when the sun comes out, but come out it will.
One day.

It really is the same with one’s moods, I think. The wrong approach is to believe that they are illusions. They are real. Depression, anxiety, listlessness – these are as real as the weather – AND EQUALLY NOT UNDER ONE’S CONTROL. Not one’s fault.

BUT

They will pass: they really will.

In the same way that one has to accept the weather, so one has to accept how one feels about life sometimes. “Today’s a crap day,” is a perfectly realistic approach. It’s all about finding a kind of mental umbrella. “Hey-ho, it’s raining inside: it isn’t my fault and there’s nothing I can do about it, but sit it out. But the sun may well come out tomorrow and when it does, I shall take full advantage.”

I don’t know if any of that is of any use: it may not seem it, and if so, I’m sorry. I just thought I’d drop you a line to wish you well in your search to find a little more pleasure and purpose in life.

Very best wishes

(Signed)

Stephen Fry

From site: Letters of Note

*

“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.” ~ Maya Angelou

*

“What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again.” ~ Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

*

“The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places. But still there is much that is fair. And though in all lands, love is now mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

*

“All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.” ~ St. Francis of Assisi, The Little Flowers of St. Francis of Assisi

*

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” ~ Neil Gaiman, Coraline

*

“Sometimes I go about pitying myself
And all the while
I am being carried across the sky
By beautiful clouds”  ~ Ojibway Expression

*

“Instead of feeling bad
Be glad you got somewhere to go
Instead of feeling sad
Be happy you’re not all alone
Instead of feeling low
Get high on everything you love
Instead of wastin’ time
Feel good ’bout what you are dreaming of…

Instead of feelin’ broke
Buck up and get yourself in the black
Instead of losing hope
Touch up the things that feel out of whack
Instead of being old
Be young because you know you are
Instead of feeling cold
Let sunshine into your heart…”

~ Madeleine Peyroux, “Instead” from album “Bare Bones“, VIDEO

*

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” ~ Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey

*

HOPE IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS-

BY EMILY DICKINSON

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops – at all -
And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -
I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.

Emily Dickinson, “‘Hope’ is the Thing with Feathers” from The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson

~~~

I Am Full of Insatiable Hope for 2013 (and an updated contact and resources page)

I’m a sucker for stuff like this (Google’s year-end video):

I’ve read and heard how so many of us are saying good riddance to 2012, but when I see videos like the one above, I’m reminded yet again of what a pretty awesome world we live in. (Don’t you love the polar bear at 2:22? Awwwww!)

2012, a leap year, was made up of 366 days that are now gone from our lives. We’ll never have those days or that time again. I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want to waste anymore of my days or squander time or spend my life living in the past when I have no way of knowing how much time I’ll have in the future. I’ve done enough of that. I’m ready to live.

I hope that everyone reading this is fortunate enough to live — truly live, not just exist – and to fully experience each of 2013′s 365 days. I hope they find you happy, healthy, kind and grateful.

I recently told a friend, “I am still full of insatiable hope.”

Insatiable… isn’t that a great word?

And it’s true, I am. Insatiable. I’m very very excited about 2013… Hopeful, optimistic, encouraged. I have a few key areas of my life I plan to focus on, and I look forward to using this blog as a way of capturing and sharing the highs and the lows of the coming year. Don’t worry, I’m working on that post now for later this week. While I’ve enjoyed my mini-hiatus, I’m excited about writing and running and searching and sharing with you.

* I recently updated my “Contact and Resources” page. If you would like to e-mail me for any reason, you’ll find my info there. And if you are starting this year a little less hopeful and excited than I, and you need some help from someone but you don’t know where to turn, I have a full listing of help and contact numbers and resources. Or if you are excited about getting sober or clean, you’ll find some links and info there too. (Don’t forget I keep a “Recovery Blogroll” of other great sober bloggers–many of whom focus primarily on sobriety in their writing. We all have our own styles and focuses, so check a few out if you are sober or working on it.)

I hope you all enjoy this first day of 2013! To my sober friends, isn’t it nice to not be hung over today?! To my non-sober friends, (in my whispered tone), been there done that haha, drink lots of water today and pop a few Advil and read this from lifehacker.

Good luck to my Georgia Bulldogs who play Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl today. Go Dawgs! Sic ‘em! Woof, woof, woof! (Yeah, it’s a Georgia thing. :) )

***

Waking up this morning, I smile,
Twenty four brand new hours are before me.
I vow to live fully in each moment
and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.  Thich Nhat Hanh

***

It’s only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth – and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up – that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had.  Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

***

Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt, crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can,
tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely,
with too high a spirit to be cumbered
with your old nonsense.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

~~~

Words For The Weekend (“My religion is kindness” – the Dalai Lama XIV edition), Volume 22

This is the latest installment of quotes and words that move me for the weekend of 12/22/12 (Volume 22). I hope you enjoy them too.

This weekend’s quotes are all from His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. You may learn more about him on his website dalailama.com and on his wiki page. He’s even on Twitter. The Dalai Lama has written many books–most are available via Amazon.

~~~

“Here’s a wishing well
Here’s a penny for
Any thought it is
That makes you smile
Every diamond dream
Everything that brings
Love and happiness
To your life

You will always have a lucky star
That shines because of what you are
Even in the deepest dark
Because your aim is true
And if I could only have one wish
Darling, then it would be this
Love and happiness for you”

~ Emmylou Harris and Mark Knopfler, “Love and Happiness”, on  album “All the RoadRunning“, video link HERE.

*

Alternate Song: “(What’s so Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” by Nick Lowe, on album “Quiet Please, The New Best of Nick Lowe“, video link HERE.

“As I walk through
This wicked world
Searchin’ for light in the darkness of insanity.

I ask myself
Is all hope lost?
Is there only pain and hatred and misery?

And each time I feel like this inside,
There’s one thing I wanna know:
What’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding?”

*

“There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.’

No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster…

When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways–either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV

*

“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV

*

“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV

*

“Sometimes we feel that one individual’s action is very insignificant.  Then we think, of course, that effects should come from channeling or from a unifying movement.  But the movement of the society, community or group of people means joining individuals.  Society means a collection of individuals, so that initiative must come from individuals.  Unless each individual develops a sense of responsibility, the whole community cannot move.  So therefore, it is very essential that we should not feel that individual effort is meaningless- you should not feel that way.  We should make an effort.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV

*

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV

*

“Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV

*

“There is only one important point you must keep in your mind and let it be your guide. No matter what people call you, you are just who you are. Keep to this truth. You must ask yourself how is it you want to live your life. We live and we die, this is the truth that we can only face alone. No one can help us, not even the Buddha. So consider carefully, what prevents you from living the way you want to live your life?” ~ Dalai Lama XIV

*

“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV

*

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV

*

“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV

*

“Human beings by nature want happiness and do not want suffering.  With that
feeling everyone tries to achieve happiness and tries to get rid of suffering, and everyone has the basic right to do this.  In this way, all here are the same, whether rich or poor, educated or uneducated, Easterner or Westerner, believer or non-believer, and within believers whether Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and so on.  Basically, from the viewpoint of real human value we are all the same.” ~ Dalai Lama XIV

*

NEVER GIVE UP
No matter what is going on
Never give up
Develop the heart
Too much energy in your country
Is spent developing the mind
Instead of the heart
Be compassionate
Not just to your friends
But to everyone
Be compassionate
Work for peace
In your heart and in the world
Work for peace
And I say again
Never give up
No matter what is going on around you
Never give up
~ Dalai Lama XIV

*

Liz at Let’s Talk About Lit, shared the following poem in her brilliant post Less Blame, More Peace: My Plan. (with Wordsworth’s “Ode of Intimations of Immortality”) though I am only sharing a stanza. I encourage you to read the full poem, Liz’s touching analysis and her ideas on how “we can be more peaceful with very little effort.” (If you enjoy the quotes and poems I share, you will love her blog.)

“Ode of Intimations of Immortality” – William Wordsworth

What though the radiance which was once so bright

Be now for ever taken from my sight,

     Though nothing can bring back the hour

Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;

     We will grieve not, rather find

     Strength in what remains behind;

     In the primal sympathy

     Which having been must ever be;

     In the soothing thoughts that spring

     Out of human suffering;

     In the faith that looks through death,

In years that bring the philosophic mind.

The Collected Poems of William Wordsworth (Wordsworth Poetry Library)” by William Wordsworth

~~~

Sunday Words on Hope, Guns, Annabelle and Hands

I could not find appropriate words for yesterday’s Words For the Weekend post. But while words failed me, some of you have shared poignant thoughts that I would like to share.

Please enjoy the following selections: a poem on hope submitted by kind reader Elle, a few quotes on hope, links and further reading on the delicate subjects of guns and issues facing The United States in the aftermath of tragedy, and a couple of songs that have been echoing in my mind this weekend.

If you have any quotes, poems or songs of hope or encouragement, please feel free to share in the comments; I will include them in next weekend’s Words post.

I wish you all a week of peace and healing.

***

HOPE (shared by reader Elle, written by Elle’s beautiful poet friend)

“Please help me to remember when my heart is dark with sorrow
that even this most pressing grief will ease on some tomorrow,
For so the cycle always goes, if I could just remember;
but I forget that spring exists when I am in December.

As part of life is pain, so surely part is also pleasure,
won’t happiness that follows tears seem all the more a treasure?
So mourning, help me please believe that there will yet be laughter,
for after all, the darkest night has sunrise follow after.

I know I look too closely at the trouble life is giving;
Yet take for granted many things that make my life worth living.
As if the fact that bad exists, means goodness cannot find me;
Yet good things happen every day, won’t someone please remind me?

It matters less what happens than it matters how one views it,
but life looks dark and cold to one whose grieving heart imbues it.
And it is winter in my life; but please don’t let grief blind me
to the good things and to hope of spring once sorrow lies behind me.”

***

In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. ~ Albert Camus

*

Sorrow fully accepted brings its own gifts. For there is alchemy in sorrow. It can be transmitted into wisdom, which, if it does not bring joy, can yet bring happiness. ~ Pearl S. Buck, The Child Who Never Grew

*

Whether you’ve seen angels floating around your bedroom or just found a ray of hope at a lonely moment, choosing to believe that something unseen is caring for you can be a life-shifting exercise. ~ Martha Beck

*

We stumble on… bring a little noise into the silence, find in others the ongoing of ourselves.  It is almost enough… The world spins.  We stumble on.  It is enough. ~ Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin

***

In his blog “Better Living Through Beowolf: How great literature can change your life”, Dr. Robin Bates quotes Matthew 2:18 on The Massacre of the Innocents and then shares from Melville’s Moby Dick:

“But by her still halting course and winding, woeful way, you plainly saw that this ship that so wept with spray, still remained without comfort. She was Rachel, weeping for her children, because they were not.” 

Bates goes on to write:

To this oceanic sadness I add my anger at anyone who, because of political expedience, avarice or other base motives, refuses to seriously grapple with America’s gun problem, especially the easy access to automatic weapons.

I’ve read many outstanding posts about the need to address our nation’s current gun laws. I do not know the solution, but I, as I’m sure the following bloggers, would agree that something is broken:

Gus at Out Where the Buses Don’t Run shares in “When Is The Time To Have That Discussion on Gun Control?“:

Now is not the time for hysteria and finger-pointing. There are 20 dead children to be buried, 20 pairs of parents whose grief cannot possibly be measured. Not to mention the grief and confusion the father of the shooter and the husband of the shooter’s mother must be feeling right now. Now is not the time for empty rhetoric and false promises. But the time will come, and it’s incumbent upon all of us, parents and spouses, voters and elected officials, lobbyists and concerned citizens, to have a measured, intelligent, and MATURE conversation about what gun control means, without compromise, without the taint of lobbying and money.

Susan at Recovering Life shares in “A country gone awry:

Gun control would help, wider availability of treatment for mental health problems would help. But the increasing massacres of innocents are only one of so many indicators of things gone awry–homicide rates, suicide rates, drug addiction, alcoholism, divorce, poverty, school drop-outs, homelessness, joblessness, depression, anxiety, PTSD, child abuse, and on and on–that I wake up in the night afraid.  Something is rotten at the core.

Caitlin Kelly, author of Blown Away: American Women and Guns, at Broadside Blog shares in “Why the next shooting massacre is (sadly) inevitable“:

– It has been said that 25 percent of Americans will suffer from mental illness during their lifetime. On any given day, then, there is a percentage of the population for whom ready access to a weapon and ammunition is deeply unwise. Co-relate this statistic with the number of Americans whose home contains a gun.

– Forty-seven percent of Americans own a gun. This is the highest rate of gun ownership since 1993. (source: Gallup poll.) There is no way to know when or how these two factors intersect.

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As always, when I can’t seem to find words for my feelings and emotions, I turn to music and song. The first speaks to a parent’s loss and being left to wonder “why?” The second speaks to the buoyancy of the human spirit. Yes, we are heart-broken, but we cannot stay idle with despair–we must carry on, we must.

“Annabelle” by Gillian Welch (video)

I had a daughter called her Annabelle
She’s the apple of my eye
Tried to give her something like I never had
Didn’t want to ever hear her cry

We cannot have all things to please us
No matter how we try
‘Til we’ve all gone to Jesus
We can only wonder why

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“Hands” by Jewel (video)

If I could tell the world just one thing
It would be that we’re all OK
And not to worry ’cause worry is wasteful
And useless in times like these
I won’t be made useless
I won’t be idle with despair
I will gather myself around my faith
For light does the darkness most fear
My hands are small, I know
But they’re not yours, they are my own
But they’re not yours, they are my own
And we are never broken

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