I was writing in my paper journal today (yes, I still have one of those archaic things!) and reflecting on the journey that got me where I am today. I thought about the decisions I had no part in making that shaped me as a person and the things I do and don't talk about. How I learned to stop kicking and screaming because they happened to me, and to sit with them. We cannot put back.
There are great big things happening in this world, things I cannot comprehend and I often feel very small, like a little speck floating around this giant universe, under the blanket of stars, marveling at the beauty of the world, of the kindness and creativity of humanity, and cowering at the terror of what might be and will be and won't be.
But I find comfort in this place, too, in the goodness of the earth and it's patterns, in what grace I have been allotted. When the weariness of the day catches up with me I sit at my dinner table in my perfect dining room (I must admit it is my favorite room of the house) and drink a cup of tea. Sometimes I'll write or read, sometimes I'll listen to music, or memorize a poem or a bit of a play if it's needed, and I put my brain to good use, writing about education as a whole, dreaming up how to fix things. And somewhere in that process, between writing and reading and dinner, the sadness of the world and ache of the day and hunger and futility lift out and away from me, like a mumuration of starlings winging their way out and over into the great beyond, and the peace settles.
It is possible, though, to be peaceful and to know joy and to grieve at the same time. I have no words for what is going on in the Philippines right now, but because I loved it and it will forever be a part of me and who I am I sit with some of the sadness. When I try to articulate it the words don't make sense. The sadness is so difficult for me to fathom so I put it in my heart in the place where my starlings sit and when the time comes after work for me to sit at my dinner table and write or read or work hard on things I let it go with the rest of the sadness, and I think of that collection of sorrows lifting away and out the dining room window, up, up, up, fluttering into the sky illuminated pink by the lights of this city, glowing against the foothills and flying further and further out over the mountains until they are lost in the deep blue of snow and sky on the peaks.