“later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
where does it hurt?
This is an excerpt from a poem “What They Did Yesterday Afternoon” by Warsan Shire, the Samoli-British poet.
The image that my mind draws from this poem fills me with such profound sadness and hurts my soul in a way that few poems do. The honest gut-wrenching picture in my mind is so surreal, yet so painfully true.
The world is wounded. It is weeping. Tears are being shed all over the world, pouring down and drowning our hope and dreams in the flooding aftermath of the tragedies.
Countries are crying daily for the dangers that surround them. Communities are crying for help. People are joining together to find comfort with other countries, with each other, with the common plea for humanity to protect the sanctity of life. The world weeps.
Politics are in chaos. Hate is strong. Prejudices run wild. Fear is rampant. Tempers are short. Man against man. Belief against belief. Leader against leader. The world weeps.
Strangers’ faces flash across our screens – victims. Husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters. We cry for them – those strangers – our brothers and sisters in a world that has forgotten the concept that we are one people just wanting to live our lives. Their images are seared in our minds and we mourn their loss. The world weeps.
Flags fly half mast. Sad, dreaded black bands wrap tightly around tear-streaked badges binding that brotherhood as one, mourning their own. We watch the processions. We see their tears. We feel our own. The world weeps.
I am sickened by it. I am frightened by it. I am indescribably distraught about the fear that resides inside me now. For myself, yes, but more importantly, for my children and grandchildren who have so much more life to live.
We are reminded almost daily that this is a tragic world in which we live. Where our homes are. Where our children play. Where evil lies hidden among our people. Our streets. Our stores. Our schools. No one is safe.
Our worried minds and our restless dreams are filled with images that won’t leave us alone. Towers. Planes. Schools. Nightclubs. Subways. Bombs. Children. The media tortures our souls. The world watches and weeps.
Where are our leaders? How did we get to this place? Is it no wonder that there is such turmoil and unrest, when promises mean nothing? Is it no wonder that there is disbelief among us, when morals and values are diminished by the very leaders that we are to believe in. And are we to put our nation and the future of our world in their shaking, distrusting hands?
The answer to that question is complex. In an ideal world, we would respect, admire, and trust the leaders of our world. But this is not an ideal time. In my simplistic and optimistic mind, can we just join together as one mankind and put our faith in the idea that whoever the leaders may be – they will surround themselves with people that have high morals, experience, and principles that guide them. Can we let it be our hope that unity, prayer, and morality will rise to the top of the values that will save us? Can we insist, as a nation and a world, that whoever reigns over us will have integrity at the core of their being? Can we demand the truth? Can our unified voices be heard and can we together wrap our arms around our wounded world and stop the tears? Can we believe that God is listening?
I write of Moonflower Bloom moments and urge my readers to live a life filled with simplicity and joy – an authentic life with purpose. And I know that we ask the question how we can do this in the midst of a world full of tragedy and chaos? But, it is at these times that the moments worth living are crucial to our spirit – to find calm in the midst of the storm. Purpose in confusing times. We must not lose sight of ourselves – of our soul’s need to thrive.
I urge you to not get caught up in the negativity of the times. Don’t follow the hate. Follow your heart and your conscience and rely on faith and hope to guide you in these unsettling times. Grieve for the world and the tears that it sheds, but insist on finding Moonflower Bloom moments as your guiding light out of the tunnel of darkness. This is the only life you have. Make it count.