There’s a lot going on in the world these days, as there always has been, of course. Before the rise of the Great and Mighty Internet, we only knew those bits of information hearty enough to make their way across the ocean by mouth. We digested them, sometimes with fear and trembling, in bite-sized chunks, and then folded our papers.
Now we know things (whether they are true or not is beside the point) before they’ve even happened. And it seems that most of them are bad.
A person can only handle so many heartbreaks, hers or other people’s, before she begins to curl inward. And this is what I’ve done when I’ve become aware of too much. I’ve felt my insides folding up shop like those illegal vendors with their tarps spread on Paris streets. I’ve gathered the corners of my heart, all its heavy trinkets sliding to the middle, and I’ve thrown it behind me, the weight now on my back.
And, of course, I’ve prayed. But my prayers have often been breathless and tight, not made of deliberate words, but of bile, of pure acid. And as I’ve waited for peace to alight, I have felt the locusts scrambling for dominance in my chest.
My prayers are different now, mostly. I ask for the strength to bear what I’m meant to, those hard things that will bring honor to the Lord, and make a difference on earth. And I ask for the courage not to look too long at what I’m sure will destroy me.
After I’ve prayed, I think about things that are right and good. I do this with ninja-like intensity. What are the beautiful things in the world? Who made them? He is the Ultimate Good, and He is here, remember?
Finally, because I’m a writer, I write.
And, of course, the earthquakes keep coming, and the bodies continue to hit the floor. The Thought Police wield their intellectual billy clubs, and our neighbors look sideways at us.
But there is Hope. Emily Dickinson said it’s a thing with feathers. I say it’s the One who made feathers.