I check the email on my phone at about 5:30 on Monday evening — right after we say goodbye to the little friends I watch every Monday and Tuesday — and read the words, “in light of what has happened in Boston today…”
And I feel the familiar sick feeling that I’ve missed something big in the world, and I wonder what sort of horror I will find this time.
I am dreading learning of Boston today and read Boston Marathon. Explosion. Amputated. Injured. Killed.
I feel sick, and it is so senseless and familiar. I hate that this feels familiar. At an event, in a place I would not have thought to worry about, and that feels familiar too.
Just then, Michael arrives home, and we all rush to greet him, and the girls don’t know what has happened, but we all seem to hug him with extra vigor, and when they are not around, I whisper in his ear about Boston, and he says there were Sandyhook families in the stands along the last mile of the race, guests of honor.
That gets me so down deep, and I think of those survivors fragile and re-traumatized, and hate again that this is the world we live in. I think of the conversations we might need to have with our children and that the comforting words about them being safe feel so false.
No place this side of heaven is safe, I am crying into the sink, and I am so angry.
I let Michael hug me, and we feel this together in the middle of our kitchen, and it is like prayer.
The kids run up the back stairs into the house, and I splash water around my eyes and when she asks, I tell J that my eyes hurt, and they do. All of me does.
I drive to the hairdresser and then out for long-scheduled drinks and appetizers with a dear friend, and life keeps moving as usual. The voices on the radio seem unphased. Cars on the road whiz right by.
From the stylist’s chair, I see clouds part, and the light is stormy, rich and deep. Chartreuse leaves glowing more brightly, blossoms shining fuller pink. I am looking for hope and tenderness and beauty. I am hungry for it.
At the restaurant, my mind wanders, and I see the shape of an oak tree with a solid trunk and long roots right there in the foam of my beer.
I am saying to my friend, We’ve got to keep bringing light and hope and love. We cannot stop. I am reminding myself more than I’m telling her, and we both probably know this.
I’m aching for the roots to go down deep. I need them to sink deep so I can keep showing up to this world.
Continue reading »