Upward Spiral From A Tragic Summer


Is it just my world or has this been the kind of horrible summer you usually read about in a book? From where I’m sitting it’s been ten weeks of natural disaster and human disaster—earthquake, hurricane, crime, illness, and sadly, untimely death.

“The air is thick with tragedy.”

The economy is taking its toll as well. I see it in my social media networks, when the Gen Yers start talking. It used to be all peppy, like, “What should I wear to the meeting?” Now the conversations are headlined, “I just can’t stand it anymore.”

What is a person to do with all of this? How to swallow the pain and just keep going?

I had the most terrible (non-) vision the other night. I was going to sleep, and I was thinking about the future. All I could see was blackness.

No, I wasn't depressed. Or psychic. It was...that I knew I did not know. I could not tell myself to have faith. Because faith implies belief in something that may or may not happen. I did not have the will to imagine I could be optimistic.

The magician Penn Jillette was on Piers Morgan a few weeks ago. Arguing about atheism. Piers said, I thought rather arrogantly, that he was confident of dying and going to a Divine place. (Which is sort of funny, if you think that there is Divine justice or karma – because Piers has hurt a lot of people’s feelings.)

I am a strong believer in G-d but I had to agree with Penn when he said something to the effect of, “It’s not about atheism, but about knowing that you just don’t know. It’s about living with that.”

I wish I could be immune to not knowing. I wish I could be strong enough in my faith that tragedy doesn’t get to me. Because I could believe that something happy awaits.

I am not. I cannot. I don’t.

All the more reason – I believe with all my heart – to make the most of every moment, now.

One of the tragedies this summer involves a young person our family knew remotely. I can’t believe it…I am so sad. I Nothing a person can say matters anymore. She is gone.

What are we to do with the feelings a tragedy evokes? It is easy – too easy – to get depressed ourselves, and let the sadness wash us away.

Maybe there is something else we can do: Use the pain to prevent the same thing from happening in the future. Do anything, do a small thing, but do something to help.

"Light a candle in the darkness."

Be a living candle.

I am one of those people who believe this entire world is just an illusion. That the physical manifestation is actually a battle of the spirit. That G-d created evil so that we could overcome it. Do what is right according to our conscience. Break through and unify with the greater Oneness that we can feel, but never prove.

I am saddened, upset, tearful, heartbroken. But this will make me more hardheaded, more determined. I am going to use it to make what little bit of difference I can - because you never know what is next.

Basically my pen is my sword and I believe our greatest weapon is knowledge. My contribution is to write, to share information, to teach. I have also joined Howard Schultz's citizen activist movement, Upward Spiral (join 9/6 remote event, free, here). Even though it's definitely a part of building the Starbucks brand - that's cool with me. I can live with it.

Choose your cause. Break it into digestible parts. Move forward with just one, this weekend.

Happy Labor Day everyone, and good luck!


Image source here.

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