Sometimes the world takes me down a few notches.
I know you know exactly what I mean. You can only buck up and fling glitter for so long before a blanket fort and an extended cuddle with the furbabes becomes a *requirement* rather than a luxury. Yesterday was one of those days.
One of my kidlets experienced a mass shooting in Montreal back in 2006. I was at work when it happened, and a client I was speaking to exclaimed “OH MY GOD there was a shooting at a college in Canada!”. My blood froze, and I asked her which one. When she told me, I hung up on her, with apologies, and then experienced the worst few hours of my life during which I had no idea where my kid was.
She’d hidden under a table, dragged there by a friend, while some toxic asshole walked around shooting at people in a place that was supposed to be safe as houses. She was deeply impacted by it, I was deeply impacted by it, and now, every time I hear about one of these shootings, I become enraged that this happens. How is this possible? How do we let this happen? What can we do?
The sense of hopelessness is too much for me sometimes, so I succumb and work on acceptance instead. I can vote with my conscience. I can be vigilant out there in a world gone fucking mad, but I know that if something like this is going to happen, it’s going to happen and there’s not a lot I can do about it. Not really.
So I make soup. And I love who I love. And I do my work. And I curl up with my furbabes.
It was my birthday weekend last weekend, and I had a lovely time. Friday was all about dice and Netflix until three in the morning with a beloved. Saturday, all my available loves gathered in one place for pints. One of my kids bought me dinner – beef tenderloin on a silky mash with a delicious sauce. A friend brought me Ouija tumblers because she knows I collect such things. There were cheers and there was laughter, and I came back home with a new lover to spend the night up talking and reveling in new relationship energy. Sunday, I spent in a live gathering on YouTube with my tribe, and then spent the rest of my day alone, getting caught up on work stuff in time for Monday.
Monday came on like a freight train with the horrifying news.
I didn’t let it completely knock me off course. It didn’t eradicate the good feels I had over my delicious weekend. But it did *hit* it. You know what I mean? It bruised it, and left me feeling a little like I had been punched in the gut. And the words “But this, too, is the world, babe…there’s the good, and there’s the ugly, and this, too is the world.” rolled around in my head. I hated that I had that resigned tone of inner voice, but I knew it was a true thing I was saying to myself.
And then I got a beautiful letter from a student who was so moved by something I’d taught that she took the time to rip pages out of an old book of fairy tales and send them to me along with THREE handwritten pages of the most deliciously affirmative words I’ve ever laid my eyes on.
And then a gift that my students pitched in to buy me (Six months of Hunt A Killer – THEM knowing me) arrived, and I got to unhook from the real horrors and escape into fictional ones for a while.
And then my boyfriend showed up with boxes of Kleenex and the makings of hot toddies, including cayenne and ginger, so I could chase off this cold I seem to be coming down with.
And then, my furbabes and I collapsed in a heap of purring, snoring, delicious, safe-as-houses sleep.
This and that. This is the world.
I don’t know how to wrap this up in any meaningful or uplifting way today. This is the world. I live in it, you live in it, and we are all doing our very best. At least, that’s what I believe – what I have to believe. I breathe kindness into the world as best I can. I pray the prayers. I vote my conscience. I do the magics. I live as best I can without letting the bastards grind me down, and I see you doing the same. I see the art popping up in my feed, and the way we continue to create and curate beauty. I see the way lovers still hold hands, and children still play, and mother’s still kiss the boo boos.
This, too, is the world.