For the love of guns and flooding

The typical thing would be to say, “I’m not looking for a debate” when posting about a touchy subject. The reason we’d state that is because we just want to speak our minds without being challenged. We want to believe what we already believe and nothing more, nothing less. It’s our right, I suppose, to our opinion where things like this are concerned.

The river is flooding the town here.

I look at this flooding, around the issue of mass shootings, gun violence in general and the specter of “gun control” in this country and I think, This is the river and the river is flooding the town.

We are drowning, one by one. The fields are marshy. The cars cannot move. The water has risen to the point where we forget where it ends and where we begin. The water is cold, but we’ve been in it so long that we have forgotten the cold. It’s tempting, perhaps, to speculate that it is the water that’s warmed to our skin, rather than to recognize the truth of it. We’re losing touch. Our skin is numb. We cannot feel our feet or hands. Extremities have no more information to give us.

We cannot leave it all to the civil engineers. This is our town, after all. It’s important for us to keep moving, to support the work of the people who are meant to help us understand what’s happening. When they look at the river, we want to know that they see the river bed, the water, the boundaries, the tributaries, the ocean that feeds it. We want to be sure they see the weather patterns, the global implications, the wheat fields and strip mining. We want to support the clean-up efforts, the burial rites, the grief process, the replanting along the riverbank.

We are drowning here.

Come up to the high ground. It’s a sacrifice to leave the trenches dug out to protect long-held beliefs, property, fears that have been inlaid since we were young, injured, fortified. It’s not enough to dig the trenches. The water is too much. The river is too swollen. The factors are too many and too powerful.

And we are drowning here.

It’s time to come up to high ground. We all want to live.

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walk alongside…

I have a new post up on Ruminate Magazine’s site today. In a way it’s not new, it’s a further reflection on things I experienced and then wrote about a number of years ago. The decision to revisit those words and emotions comes as I look over the Facebook pages of friends who, only 5 or 6 years ago were still waiting, still struggling, still walking alongside. Time is so interesting. Maybe that’s what makes Facebook so compelling for me, to be able to see the progression, the steady march of time as it crawls up my newsfeed. But we have a better measure than social media, a long term measure, that comes in the friendships we make and nurture and keep.

Time has shown me how hard it is to keep up, how rough the waters can be, how much loss and how much love are possible in any given life. Time shows me the mistakes I’ve made and whether or not I’ve learned anything at all in the wake of them.  We depend on time, always marking the passage of it like lines on the wall to show how high the children have grown or marking the days on the calendar before vacation or a wedding or the hope of a baby being made. The Rolling Stones were wrong by saying that time is on my side. It’s not. It’s outside of us. Time is indifferent to our weird little struggles, it just keeps moving along and yet it’s necessary for that measure of our lives.Time is out of our reach even as we try to gather it in, even as we try to store it in our bellies and our brains. Inevitably, I suppose we hope that time simply shows us we are better for our struggles after all.

So, digression over…take a moment to saunter over to Ruminate today. If you have experienced miscarriage or walked alongside someone who has, this post is meant for you. I hope you’ll share it if it hits you in the right place today.

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serious as a heart attack…

My husband had a heart attack a few weeks ago. No, really. He did.

He’s 50 and deconditioned, his dad had one at 60 so it was on my radar somewhere but at least 10 years ahead on my radar, not the “day before Easter 2009” radar.

To say that it took me by surprise is an understatement. It was a battle that took me completely unarmed…

He’s fine now, you know, relatively speaking. He’s on a new diet, he has some great motivation to lose weight and get healthy and I trust that he knows he dodged a bullet. The damage to his heart was minimal thank God and he came home and re-entered real life after only a few days in the hospital. So we have that going for us.

Things come to me around this everyday now…some days I’m overwhelmed with the crazy of it, some days I’m just sad, some days I’m angry.

The thing that I wanted to put down to paper (so to speak) today though is this thought that I had.

A few years ago I had a rough time with a friend around the issue of her struggle with infertility. I thought that I knew what she “must be feeling” and although she told me repeatedly in probably 75 different well thought out ways that I couldn’t possibly understand because that was not my story I just didn’t hear her.

Thankfully, since then, I think (I HOPE) I have cultivated the grace and humility it takes to say that indeed there is no way I could possibly know what she was feeling at any given time. All I have is the ability to walk alongside and offer love in the in-between moments.

I say this because I’m starting to hear that phrase a lot now, “you MUST have been so scared…” “You MUST have felt this way or that way or blah blah….” and you know my response EVERY single time is that I’m angry.

I don’t know if that is what my friend felt when I used that phrase to her…I don’t know…I just know that when people assume that they know how I felt (or feel) going through this I feel very diminished in it all.

I guess what I’d LIKE to hear is more along the lines of “how are you feeling?” and “what was that like for you?” because to be honest, I didn’t feel sad or scared in the moment. I didn’t have that and for a number of people to tell me I MUST have felt that way I get confused….maybe I SHOULD have felt that…what’s wrong that I didn’t FEEL that?

Gah. crazy making in my brain.

So, sorry for the run on rant-o-rama…purging is good.

I suppose what I am most pleased about today is that realization that even the hard stuff I went through with my friend has merit to me now in this moment. It was a lucky little ‘a-ha’ to me and for that I am truly thankful.