Smoke Screen

smoke-screenI fell asleep thinking about shards and fragments, a world broken beyond repair. At 3:30am, the cats woke me up with their incessant scratching at the edges of the litter box on the other side of the bedroom wall. And I lay there for a long time, wishing I was sleeping, knowing morning was just a few hours off, and thinking about our children. My children. Myself. Thinking particularly about social media, and how I participate in it, how I only know a few people without Facebook accounts. The noise and acceleration and madness of it, and the social consciousness and movements spawned and ripple effects of real connections. How it is both.

I thought about how I read a poem to my colleagues in the car yesterday on our way to the holiday luncheon, and about the conversation we later had about learning a trade, and planting a garden, and unpredictable water levels, and how the earth will recalibrate to new ways of supporting herself, in such a way that 1.2 and not seven billion people will be able to live here. How much time do we have between those numbers?

It’s not the question to ask, really. The only question it ever ends up making sense to ask is, what can I do today that is loving? Kind? Healing? Thoughtful? What can I do today that will jar me out of my routines, my daily grooves, my little worries, my constant agendas, my my my my?

Don’t let the screen fool you. There is nothing separating my life from yours, our lives from each other’s, our actions from others’ actions, except the belief that we are over here and the problem is over there. And there comes an answer that isn’t exactly an answer, but perhaps an action: Until I step out of the “my” and into the world, I will not contribute to change.

Therein lies the paradox, too–for until I step into the “my” and take responsibility for my own life and intentions, I will not see that what appears to be a paradox is not the problem. The two are one. I can only be myself, and I have to forget myself. To be solid and strong, and to dissolve into being. To be and to do. To greet the day and smile at the stranger who could be my friend–if only I knew your name.

5 thoughts on “Smoke Screen

  1. Nichole Been says:

    Tears are flowing. Thank you so much. Life means so much more, and so much more of me has opened up, and shifted, since having children. These questions are so hard to ask, and I appreciate your words.

    Like

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