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We are Powerless. Not in Front of Children. Your Art.

The Sun Comes Up in Mourning

Photo by Marcus Ganahl on Unsplash

The question of the moment: How do you keep the world in your heart while living your life?

I have had this conversation several times in the past few days.

These are agreements among my tribe members:

We are powerless. This statement is the first acknowledgment of 12-step groups and other spiritual paths. We think we are in control, then our socks get knocked off and our head spins around when the threat of nuclear war is soberly discussed by pundits. Yup, we are there again, where we never expected to be.

We are hopeful. This hope is not naivete, not toxic positivity. We can go to a spiritual place, depending on our belief system, or make a rational choice that optimism is a survival tactic. Whether it is prayer, meditation, listening deeply to music, walking in the woods — whatever is our Source, we make time to go there.

We hold the people who are suffering in our hearts. We offer their caretaking, in this life and afterward, up to the Universe. We make time to consciously ask for this help for the people of Ukraine, for Russia, for refugees.

We don’t talk about the Dark Side in front of children. I told my son and daughter-in-law that I was eight years old when the Cuban Missile Crisis happened. I was scared because adults were scared. My piano teacher said “Maybe this is the end of the world,” to me, an eight-year-old.

My grandchild listens carefully to everything adults say. We don’t talk about war in front of her. If the children are old enough to understand and ask questions, we say things we believe, like, “I think right will prevail in the end.” Or “This is a scary time. But we will make it through this time together.” We do not lie.

I am grateful for the President in Washington and think that he and his advisors have been making the right choices so far. We can express gratitude for what is working. Much of the world is united in their outrage. We can take solace in the company of millions.

We make art. Bell hooks said her writing was her activism (BOMB 45 Summer 1994).

I write humorous stories frequently, to put my mind elsewhere and provide outlets for others. What follows is not a light story. It is a poem for this time.

Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash

The Sun Comes Out in Mourning

The rays fall on the backyard patch
Where iris leaves will turn beams into
Spears, pierce the earth and reach tall.
Swords into plowshares
The words we carry in our hearts
Burnished by rubbing
Tears on the points of the pointless
Swords, spears, tears.

The sun comes out in mourning and
We still make coffee and put out seed
For the birds, noting a little sparrow falls
As God promised He would notice
And we notice the bird who falls

While the sun comes out in mourning
And we know the news will fall
Like missiles upon families
Mothers, fathers, children huddling
Together like the masses yearning to breathe free.
They will be freed, breathless, in carnage and death

While the sun comes out in mourning
Behind the smoke of the buildings in flames
Bricks crumbling from a house, a home
Where life was stirring beneath a backyard patch
To work its way beneath snow to mud
But the earth, there, is gray and red
From bombs and blood while
We drink our coffee and read the morning news.
What else can we do? We burnish the
Spears in our hearts with tears like rain falling.

The sun comes out in mourning.

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  1. Edith
    | Reply

    The sun comes out in mourning – well chosen words!

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