While I was up late at night writing my last post, only a few blocks down our house something terrible was taking place. A man standing outside a convenience store was shot to death by a member of the police force. Someone caught it on video, and today it was on the national news. The two police men involved were put on administrative leave today, and the case has been handed over to the Justice Department who are carrying out an investigation.
Scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed this morning, I felt an immense wave of desperation washing over me. The suicide bombings of the past few days, the continuing war in the Middle East, the refugees, the state of the environment, BREXIT, the U.S. elections...and a whole lot of hatred and division everywhere in the comments sections, media outlets and particularly palpable today in our town of Baton Rouge. Has the world gone mad, or was it always this crazy?
All I know is what I saw on the video and what is being reported by the media. I do …
Some of us are born into exile. In the beginning, life is this fascinating kaleidoscope of colors, sounds and tastes, and at the same time an unbearable and terrifying assault on our senses. We feel too much, think too much, sense too much, perceive too much. As babies we sleep a lot. They say we are good babies, easy babies. We really just need healing time for the growing brain.
We live out a push-pull relationship with life. On one hand: an attraction to love, a deep longing for connection with Life, an innate curiosity to understand its different parts. An intense desire to belong. On the other hand: threatening energies, incessant soul-wounding, inexplicable fear. A progressive loss of innocence with every foray into the outer world. The inner world is a dark tangled forest we run to, equally scary, equally mysterious but subtler, quieter, seemingly safer.
We watch the adults around us with no concept of the past, no way of understanding they are the product of their own lives…
During a walk the other day I came
upon a tree whose name was Joachim. He was an oak, the kind one meets around
here in the South, with the broad crown of luxuriously spread thick branches
draped in Spanish moss and fern. Occasionally in urban areas Spanish moss is
replaced by Mardi Gras beads, hanging down from the lower branches and
glimmering in the sun. Other times they have black and white signs with
threatening red letters nailed to the trunk: PRIVATE PROPERTY. Joachim bore one
of these signs and though I would have ordinarily taken this as a sign to keep
moving, the tree was so tall and beautiful that I stopped to consider him and
allowed myself to enter a little reverie in his shade.
Looking at the sign brought a
feeling of sadness tinged with anger. What is our relationship with the living
world, truly? If the sign indicates that responsibility is being claimed for
the tree’s wellbeing and protection then yes, that is a worthy statement. Did
the owner assist the tree by mulc…