Caught off balance

cloudsWhen the news from Orlando came out, I was caught off balance.

Two months earlier, one of my daughter’s best friends took his own life. We knew Danny struggled with some depression, so we tried to keep a caring eye on him when he was around. But he spent his last day with our family at our farm…laughing and singing, lounging in the hammock and exploring the woods… and we didn’t see any signs at all. The next day he was gone.

It rocked our world.

The silver lining was a keen new awareness of how precious and fragile life is, and our need to reach out and care for one another.

Just as we began to feel stable on our feet again, we were hit with Orlando. Friday night’s murder of Christina Grimmie, who my daughter followed closely…and then the horrific attack at the Pulse on Saturday. I can’t shake the great sadness over how cruel humans can be to one another. Not just in the violent event itself, but in the way we respond to it.

There is a great rush on the internet to explain, dissect, and critique the event itself. Then the familiar cycle begins and we explain the explanation…we critique the critique. I often come late to the party, because I process things more slowly. As I write my blogs for A Peace of My Mind, I feel some pressure to respond to the news of the day with some great wisdom, but the truth is, I don’t have those answers. I am more likely to find wisdom in an event from five years ago. I am the one who thinks of a witty response ten minutes after the punch line.

I joke that the slow food movement has caught on to combat our fast food appetites. When will the slow thought movement take hold that will offer us more time and perspective to respond to life’s challenges? So I joke…but it’s not a joke.

I still feel off balance, as an individual, but as a nation as well. We are fed a steady stream of conflict and grief. I’m not sure we are designed to take it. Before we have fully processed one tragedy, we are faced with the next. The cycle becomes familiar and plays out in predictable ways, yet we haven’t found a way to bring closure and move forward.

Where do we find our time to heal?

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