Dichotomies

It’s curious to me how a worldwide phenomenon can be going on in Japan with the earthquakes and resultant tsunami, the vast suffering of millions, thousands lost to the water and yet, somehow,  on the other side of the earth, we can plod along entirely at ease. 

I don’t know if this is a gift or a sin.  The human spirit will soldier on, will saunter on, will root through rock, will take a breath and rise to the surface, forcing all chaff and tailings to part as it goes.  The human spirit knows no noble death. 

The impulse to pray feels foreign, other, and so we believe in it much more strongly than we believe in ourselves.  

Whether the prayer works, the people on Japan and here in on our shores must make some expedient decisions in this aftermath.  How frightening it must be in the darkness.  I pray and hope and believe and will  from my great distance that safety can be quickly restored, those who have lost friends and family can bear their sorrow and help others to do the same, that we may learn by this unexpected horror how near the keen blade passes by our necks so that we might love as relentlessly and recklessly as the earthquake itself.

I am trying to temper the excitement I feel over a weekend, a chance to rest, a chance to turn off the office face and the grand facade with the world news.  I’m trying to hold these two experiences in my head at the same time, and not judge myself for either of them.  It’s okay to care with your gut and bones about a tragedy at the same time you plan dinner and are considering whether or not to go to Home Depot tomorrow to replace your sink.  We are connect to one another, but we are also individuals.  We fight these fights in every instance as to where to put our attention and care.  Sometimes, you have to look in another  direction to get the strength to look back.

The play we saw last night was excellent.  It was all about two fraudulent people – writers, naturally – revealing themselves to one another under the fire of terminal illness.  Breaking each other’s hearts and coming back together and it was really well done by our theatre.   I hadn’t wanted to stay for it, but when I got there and we had about fifty of our group and everyone was kind and had brought food and was so genuine that I felt like a really culture-less jerk to blow them off to run home and play video games.  I’m glad that I had some impulse within to settle down and throw off the negativity for a moment, even if it’s sort of been an omnipresent and cliched raincloud over my head in the past few weeks.

I know that if I ate better, slept more, drank more water (working on that right now), I would be able to toss off those heavy curtains in an instant.  It would be so easy, I think, that I have no desire to try.