When Humans Are Just Too Awful For Words

It is not that I don’t think about evil—
I do.  Often.

It is more that I will not let it have the last word.

Horrible things happen
in every part of this world
every day, and
if I allowed myself to feel all the pain there is
I would be paralyzed
and that would do no one
any good
at all.

So I choose a different way.

I know I cannot solve everything—
save the children from sexual slavery
get clean water to every person
remove all the plastic from the oceans
and somehow get rid of this strutting emperor
who dismisses reports of his nakedness
as fake news
while inciting acts so heinous
that we will be ashamed for generations to come—
and it is not that I do not feel angry.

It is more that
I prefer to think about the way,
every spring, even in dry years,
the bright poppies bloom
on the green hills
under the blue sky,
and the shore birds fly up
in vast murmurations,
flashing first white and then gray
and then silver
in the shafts of sunlight
that pierce the soft spring clouds.

It is more that
I prefer to think about the way
the children are rising up in the streets
to remind their elders of their proper work
which is not to sit and wring our hands
and feel helpless,
but to act
and to create
new ways of doing everything.

Life is more powerful than evil
and we are part of it
and must act on our own behalf.

“No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless,”
said Dorothy Day,
“There is too much work to do.”

Think of how much work it is
and how hard
for a baby bird to hatch from an egg;

Think of how much work it is
and how hard
for a tree to grow through a boulder;

And yet they do it all the time.

If the flowers can bloom
and the children can rise up

If the birds can hatch and then they can fly
and if trees can grow through stone

then, certainly—
certainly!—
we have the strength
to overcome evil.
To outgrow it,
to create something different
and more interesting.

Let us hatch
and let us fly
and let us grow
and let us bloom
and together let us
create something beautiful
and new.

 

 

 

 

A Mother’s Day Prayer

Spirit of Life, moving source of all we know:

Now is the time when lush green leaves
clothe the oak trees,
Grosbeaks fill the forests
with exuberant song,
dogwoods lift their extravagant blossoms
to the sun,
and children race each other
to the swings.
It is high spring,
a time of glorious beauty.

And yet, as always,
there is pain here.
Even as we celebrate Mother’s Day,
our government is keeping the children
of brown mothers
in cages.

Even as we celebrate Mother’s Day,
black and brown mothers
weep from fear
that their children will not come home
because they have been shot by police.

Even as we celebrate Mother’s Day,
the children of all mothers
are endangered by climate change.

The irony is too much to bear.

Spirit of Life, Source of all love:

Springtime shows us
how much beauty the world offers:
the songs of birds
the colors of flowers
the faces of children.

Each is beautiful
alone
but they are even more so
together
because of the
differences
between them.

Help us be thankful for all this beauty
Help us love the differences

Help us act from our thanks and our love.

Help us act.
Help us act.
Help us act.

Blessed be.