Just Ask - Then Pay Attention
I wrote this in 2015. Some things haven't changed, but some things have.
There’s been some heavy shit going down, as we used to say. In fact, for a year the air has felt thick with grief and rage, sorrow and vitriol. People are angry and frightened, even here in my small Western MA town where we are really safe, really, we are comparatively safe unless some person who has chosen the dark decides to pick us as an example of smug small town America on which to unleash mayhem. Even here we are asking in anger, frustration, slapping back at anyone we can. When I thought about writing a post today, I could barely make myself sit down at my desk.
I wanted to weep, just sit in a chair and let the tears slide down my face. I felt overwhelmed by the anguish that is swirling around the planet. I thought: ‘I just want to write about something happy. I’m tired of the deep and meaningful, tired of trying to stay strong, to hold the center of my small corner of the world. I know there’s beauty out there, but I just can’t see it.’
I was longing for, trying to choose, dammit, I wanted the comfort that is there for me when I can touch the Divine, and it was like trying to find a string in a fog, a wisp of light just glittering there for me and I couldn’t see it.
And then I looked out my window. I looked out of the window by my desk and I saw one of the most spectacular sunsets I’ve ever seen. It was like God had poured molten metal all over the sky. It was shining, golden and deep rose and royal blue. It had cloud texture unimaginable. It just exploded across the horizon. I could keep writing like this for hours and never find the words to fully explain the wonder, the glory of it all. It was amazing, all the hyperbole you can think of, every shining color ever, light and contrast, and I felt myself just soaring into it. Hope. I saw hope.
Then I thought: ‘Karen. All you had to do was ask. And then … pay attention.’
photo credit to Lindy Whiton, Greenfield, MA