On Reading, Again

I have periods where I voraciously tear through book after book, story after story, world after world. Where I can’t get enough of the written word. This is when the most seems absolutely possible. And negative thoughts or ideas don’t stand a chance in my head. 

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On Universal Pain

Where did we get this idea that we can tell people how and where the hurt is greatest? Belgium was attacked. Turkey was attacked. There are countries in Africa that are suffering. People in the US are struggling. There are pockets of pain and sadness but there are also 7 billion people on this planet for a reason – so that we can cover the pain with love. We will not all rally to one hurt, but we can acknowledge them without claiming that we must acknowledge them all just to prove how much we care. That’s not how humanity works. It’s fallible and imperfect and ugly sometimes. Pray for peace for everyone and if some pray for Belgium or for Turkey and not for both, I say it’s still a victory for love. 

On Reading

Everything outside of your book’s world becomes poetry: a flickering candle, a bowl of soup, the sound of a barking dog or injured bird. Everything calls out to you in much the same way it does when you’re reading. Like describing something intuitive to you to a blind person. Suddenly words become clearer and the fog lifts and you can see the world more vividly. The way an author does. That’s why literature is cyclical and never ending. Reading words produces new ones. And new ways of seeing too. 

On Unexpected Sorrows

Last night, Chicago stood up to the bull. No pun intended. But the victory in my heart was a short lived one. While I celebrate with the mass throngs of those in favor of progression and nonviolence, I was grieved that there are people who really believe that building a wall between borders or deporting 11 million human beings will magically solve the issues in our country. And there are thousands upon thousands of these idiotic, hateful souls. I thought about where I was in life, what I’ve accomplished, and what I want to accomplish and I discovered an immutable, heartbreaking truth: I cannot fathom bringing children into the world in its present state. I absolutely cannot conceive of it. We can stand and we can fight against the hatred and occasionally prevail, but the only insulation we have from keeping future generations from the hatred that is fueling a certain political campaign is choosing not to thrust this life upon them. After all, they have not asked for it and for the present time, it doesn’t seem that it will improve. So fight on, Chicago and anyone else brave enough to say no to the evil in this world that tries to rise up against us, unprovoked, unending, unwelcome. 

On Career Purgatory

The thing about being exactly where you don’t want to be and doing exactly what you don’t want to do is that you discover new aspects of life that, may be old hat to someone else, but that are new to you. I’m exercising my right and ability to say I like something or I don’t like something. And it’s a useful bit of art because it’s in doing what you don’t want that affords you the space to see what it is you want to do, where it is you want to be, and chart an expedient route to get there. And Lord, do I want out of here. But I like that I still get to discover who and what I am and that’s the point of this ski lift we call life. That’s where every little moment of joy will share its fragrance with you, when you know this isn’t only what you were meant to do, but that you still get to find beauty and inspiration in the darkest of corners. I’ve also discovered that illumination comes from within, and I light those dark spaces with the hope I have for a brighter future. Take that light with you, and brighten the dark spaces of the world. That’s your purpose. You’re not what you do. You’re who you are, and the stalest moments at your job can never change that. Only YOU can. Be light.