11.30.2015

oh, the feelings


my heart feels heavy, like something is pressing on my chest making it hard to breathe.  it's the photos of the children in syria going around the internet.  the 'Where do the Children of Syria Sleep?' series by the swedish photojournalist.  it breaks my heart (as I assume it does to many).  there's one in particular that gets me, a five year old girl with haunted eyes that have seen so much more than they should have.  were it not for the simple fact that our own ancestral providence happens to have lead us to a certain life on a certain continent (which is not at all to say that there aren't very real struggles going on every day, all the time, on our own turf, in our own country), affording us a certain level of comfort and security........ she could be Claire.  I could be the mother, building little pillow forts for my daughter every day, giving my all, beyond my all, to offer her an illusion of comfort and safety.  a feeble attempt to distract her from her nightmares, all the while pushing aside my own.



I have no idea what to say, what to write.  I want to bring those children, all of them, into our home and feed them soup and biscuits and hot cocoa, and give them clean fluffy pillows and sing them lullabies.  I want to invite the mothers for tea, and I want to remove their shoes (if they have any) and give them foot massages and then send them off to a nice warm bath.  instead, I cry for them and send money when I can.  I'm also very inspired by this organization that is collecting baby carriers for refugees, and thank Lisa for putting that on my radar.

are horrific things happening any more today than in the past?  or is it just that we are all now so aware and exposed to it so easily, so quickly.  I'm guessing it's the latter.  to be sure, it is a good and worthy endeavor to be worldly and informed, to know the challenges and the triumphs of others near and far.  no doubt it is wonderful and necessary, this humanity, this learning of one another so that we can better reach out in some way, in any way.                                           but I admit there are times I wonder what sweet bliss it might be to just be ignorant of it all.


paris, syrian refugees, sudanese refugees, the dam burst in brazil........  how to sit with the knowledge of all this terror and tragedy and balance out the joy and the cheer of this time of year?  I know that meeting terror and tragedy with joy and cheer is a good general practice.  I know it begins with me, with you.  peace, hope, resilience...... we must live and breathe these things that we want for the greater world in our own small ways in our own small lives, and hope that at least some of our humble efforts trickle out where they can be woven together with others and grow into something larger, something strong.

still, in the face of imminent holiday cheer, joyful advent countdowns, and all the goodness to come with it, right now, I am a bit sad.  I am, however, most definitely happy too, and much more so than I am sad.  I tend to feel things big, never having been very subtle with my emotions.  I tend to worry, to feel like I should be doing more, and I must remind myself that I'm doing what I can, and that the small things I do to bring joy and peace into my own little world are important, big things.

so here's to the joyful days ahead, and to reveling in them happily, freely.  and here's to the feelings, the big sad ones, that sneak in needing to be felt sometimes.  here's to letting them in and letting them ride, and then taking a deep breath and doing what we can to bring more peace/hope/resilience/what-have-you into our own small worlds, one tiny little consequential bit at a time.

10 comments:

  1. I pray for World peace and for all the suffering and starvation to stop. I give what I can when I can I think of those haunting eyes often. I am truly grateful for the inner peace that I have. Take care.

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    1. yes, we are so fortunate. I definitely find that gratitude and acknowledgement of that is so helpful.

      I love the Rumi quote: "wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life."

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  2. I totally understand the tension of feeling both happy and sad and love your willingness to allow space for both emotions in your life.

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    1. the way I see it is, whether or not I allow the space, they'll find a way in...... so I may as well fully acknowledge the darkness alongside the sweet beauty and learn from it all as best I can. but goodness, some days...... ooph. some days my heart can go from so overjoyed and full to bursting with gratitude while watching my girl to so broken thinking about others.

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  3. i feel it all too. i get overwhelmed and take a few days off from the internet. a few days spent only finding the beauty and joy of creek water, my laughing kids, the sweat shed from chores well done... sending off my carrier has been the only tangible way for me to feel like i've actually done something, anything to help. money transfers (although surely helpful) don't feel like enough...all i'm doing is clicking keys on the computer. but thinking of another mother or father wearing the baby carrier that i wore on my shoulders, that carried my children... well, it makes me feel like this one teeny tiny act is actually helping in a way that i can understand. and then, again, i shut off the internet and i send them love and i wish all the good wishes i can muster.
    hugs to you.

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    1. xoxo. I'm waiting to get my carrier back from a friend and then plan to send it along. I admit, it is one of a handful of things I very much planned to hold onto, and it won't be easy to let it go......... but as you say, imagining it being put to use in another place far, far away, by a mama or papa who really, really needs it..... well, that feels like a good thing. a very good thing.

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  4. it is so sad. i usually do end up more on the ignorant bliss side of the fence because i don't usually spend much time reading social media posts and i don't check in with the news at all. i think i really should more... but sometimes it is nice to stay in that little peaceful bubble. BUT... it is far more important to be aware of all of the suffering going on... no matter how sad. it really brings the silly little stresses of the season in to perspective... stressing about holiday gatherings, or which presents to buy, or how much money to spend... what luxuries these are. the photo that haunts me is one of a doctor breaking down sobbing in between shifts because he was working on children... and they were in very bad shape :(

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    1. oh that peaceful bubble is good, good stuff. but yes, I agree, it is important to be informed and it certainly does put things into perspective. I often find myself thinking the same thing about how my inconveniences are really such luxuries if I look at them more closely..... xo

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  5. Oh Amanda, I'm so sorry I'm lousy at commenting. But I have to this time. Which is odd, because really, I have nothing to add to your beautiful words. Goodness, there are no words, except, yes...me too. Heavy heart. Happy heart. Thankful heart. How in the world do I get this chance at life when the majority of others experience so much suffering. Miss you, friend! Wish I could sit and have tea with you at your dining room table and give you a big hug, share a tear, a nod, a smile, a silent laugh with you.

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    1. don't be sorry! (but it is nice to hear from you- I check in at your space often and get pretty excited when you've posted something new ;)

      I miss you, too! I wrote you a letter and keep meaning to pop it in the mail....... I'll leave it on the counter to be sure I do so on Monday.
      me too. me too, me too!

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thanks for taking the time to read and comment~