Like everyone else, I’ve been pretty tied to the news lately. I was headed to bed on Sunday night when I checked Twitter and everyone was speculating on the subject of Obama’s surprise address, so we stayed up late to hear the big announcement. At the time of the press conference, I admit I was left with a sort of somber satisfaction. But now, three days later, I’m not exactly sure what to think, and it’s all becoming a lot more complex to me. I know the mere mention of Bin Laden’s name conjures some really terrible memories for all of us, especially those who lost someone on September Eleventh, so I completely understand the visceral reaction. That said, what I don’t really subscribe to is this cowboy mentality… Woohoo we killed someone; let’s drink to that! … that I’m seeing everywhere. (Not that I think someone is a terrible person for celebrating. It’s just not the reaction I veer toward.) One death doesn’t erase thousands of former deaths. Unfortunately, the death of one individual won’t erase terrorism from our global landscape.
But it does bring a sense of closure perhaps to the anger surrounding September Eleventh. And it does, as this excellent article states, move toward healing some religious prejudice in our nation. Or I pray it does. Because when I think about things too much – when I watch the news, when I listen to the political party banter, when I think about some of the anger that has bubbled to our surface since 2001, it feels so overwhelming and even dark.
People like Bin Laden exist, even though he’s dead. People with far more subtle hatred exist, and in my opinion, their constant anger and their need to reclaim some sacred American space that only belonged to their kind are cancers in our rhetoric. Other problems are there, too. Our poverty rate is growing. Our schools are a mess. Healthcare is not working, regardless of what some claim. We are sick people, inside and out.
And I read a lot. I listen to NPR when I’m driving or when I’m cleaning. I catch televised news when I can and I’m not chasing a toddler. I like being informed, and I think it’s important. But it’s so exhausting sometimes, no? I’m not usually an advocate of sticking one’s head in the sand, but sometimes it’s good for you.
I’m still meandering through One Thousand Gifts, and I underlined a passage a few weeks ago that is resonating with me now, so much so that I fumbled through my copy to find it last night and read it a few times. I know there is poor and hideous suffering, and I’ve seen the hungry and the guns that go to war. I’ve lived pain, and my life can tell: I only deepen the wound of the world when I neglect to give thanks for early light dappled through leaves and the heavy perfume of wild roses in early July and the song of crickets on humid nights and the rivers that run and the stars that rise and the rain that falls and all the good things that a good God gives.
So today? Today, I vow no news. I’m taking a break for a while, and I’m grateful for things that have nothing at all to do with National Security.
Not much of a sequitur for this, on to journaling and a few words and photos…..
I started off my weekend bringing dinner to an old friend of mine and her sweet family with their new little addition. Seeing a newborn baby all curled up with her little tight fists makes me crave those days again, but they are not so easy when you’re in the thick of them. We seem to forget all of that somehow though. Nature’s crafty like that.
Then Saturday night we had some friends over with their 7-month-old, and it was madness but fun watching a toddler and a baby try to interact. We tried countless times to get a good photo, but we didn’t have a lot of success aside from one or two. It’s hard wrangling two wiggle worms, I tell you.
And I’m obsessed with my new grain mill (want to write more on that soon), so there’s an abundance of fresh bread in our house right now.
And we’re using our $4 “bubble gun” for some serious fun on the porch.
And speaking of porch, our swing broke last week. It’s probably from something like 1985, so it’s really no surprise that we have to shop for a new one now. In the meantime though, my tiny niece just perches on the good end and I let her.
So we end up slummin’ it with this broken swing on a beautiful sunny afternoon, but whatever. She rolls with it. She even sports a temporary tattoo on her arm to top it all off.
And of course there are a million other little fleeting moments that could be categorized as good things, too. That few minutes (seconds?) of a clean house before it’s destroyed again. Freshly baked chocolate-chip cookies and a fun episode of Glee. A mid-week-no-reason-at-all happy hour date with girlfriends in about 3 hours. A peacefully sleeping toddler. And the promise of lots of fun things – Mother’s Day, park dates, concerts – coming in May.
What’s on your happy list today?