gratitude-a-thon day 1026: that and this

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Even in the darkness, there are places that the light fights its way through. I’m going to stand in those sunny spots, but remember the darkness around me, as I do.

It’s a perfectly sunny morning. Nothing like a perfectly sunny morning after a week of rain. Damp, cold, miserable, car-drenching-you-while-you’re-walking-the-dog rain. Today is fat and happy with possibility. Thoughts of window boxes, and patio furniture and whether I can show my arms this season, or not.

And then I remember about Syria. And that bat shit crazy Assad person who is satan’s younger more handsome brother and I think, you can’t be happy today because there is this.

And I sit and wonder. I wonder if I shouldn’t allow the sun up in the sky to let me be grateful today that I am not living in Syria under a dictator who is so evil he can kill a perfect little baby. I wonder if I should cover my face and allow the Hitler-esque horror to fill me and render me useless today.

I choose instead to be in this present moment, in my present reality, and allow the sunlight in, while cradling those people in my heart. I will carry the man who lost his twins and wife, with me today as I walk in the sunlight. I will try and telecommunicate my oneness with him, let him know he is with me, as another human who can feel the tip of a pinkie of his pain, who honors the hell he is currently living in.

I will do that, and this. I will make room for both. Probably not without periodic guilt, but I will try to honor them by living today, inside the space of the sun.

gratitude-a-thon day 220: I’m not the president

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What if it was you? What if it was your family?

The Syrian thing. It’s terrifying. While I am vehemently against war, my moral center is shouting, “YOU CAN’T JUST STAND BY AND LET THIS HAPPEN.” Then I get occupied by something else, like my son leaving for a foreign country to go to school, or work, or what the hell to make for dinner, and I forget about Syria. And then my moral center starts yapping again, “BUT YOU DON’T WANT TO GET INTO ANOTHER WAR, FOR GOD SAKES. WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO BE THE BOSS OF EVERYBODY.” My moral center is quite chatty– sometimes in a very annoying way that reminds me of when my kids were three and it was bedtime.

I will not pretend to be a foreign policy intellectual, because I am not. But what I am is a girl with a good, solid, (and very verbal) moral center, who believes that we need to be careful here. I don’t know what the answer is. I go back and forth. I do know that it’s hard to do nothing when people who are just like you and me, who have big dreams, and love their kids, and friends, and have favorite foods and books and movies, are attacked in their own country with a deadly chemical. Just think about that for a minute. Consider that you’re out with your ten best friends and your country attacks you with chemicals. What would it be like to know that other countries watched the horrific video feed and didn’t do anything in response. Isn’t that like watching a bully in the school yard and turning your head? Isn’t that what we teach our kids not to do?

I don’t know. I hope diplomacy can trump war. But I don’t know what’ right here. And I’m grateful not to be President Obama right now. Because this is a tough one. This is a really tough one.