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Easing the Journey Through Shadow & Light

  • Dawn

Shocked-Like the Rest of You: A Brief Addendum to Yesterday's Post

As I was writing and posting my blog yesterday, I was unaware of the terrible events unfolding in Washington, DC. As I've said, I try to balance my life by, among other things, not being a news junkie, so I did not learn of them until this morning.

If I had known, I'm sure I wouldn't have done the post I did. However, I do want to reiterate Elizabeth Gilbert's words from that post: "The best we can response to our incomprehensible and dangerous world, is to practice holding equilibrium internally--no matter what insanity is transpiring out there. I would amend that to say "one of the best things we can do." There are many others, but staying centered, rooted in the God of your understanding and/or your principles and/or your heart (hopefully all three) is, in my mind, central. From there we can decide the best paths for ourselves.

I have to say that while I am shocked and grieved on many levels, I am, unfortunately, not surprised. What happened yesterday has been a fear of mine for months now. As I wrestle with my own tendency to blame and argue with those who hold different views, I also feel the deep pull towards compassion and self-awareness. And humility. I don't want to add to the hate, the rhetoric, the blaming.

My longtime friend, minister and hospice chaplain, Mary Jo, included the following in her Christmas card:

"Looking for way to build bridges in our divided country? Check out Braver Angels at Here is the Brave Angels 'Malice Towards None' Pledge:

“Regardless of how the election turns out, I will not hold hate, disdain, or ridicule for those who voted differently from me. Whether I am pleased or upset about the outcome, I will seek to understand the concerns and aspirations of those who voted differently and will look for opportunities to work with people with whom I disagree.”

Can we do this? Or something like it? It is a tough assignment. But I think our survival as a people and a country depend on movement in this direction.

Oh. And maybe a little lightheartedness can help us along the way. Here's to our animal cousins, "who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief" (Wendell Berry).

May God have mercy on our souls.

Until next time.,



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