Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wednesday Soup

Oh I think I have shook my head and muttered some form of the word sad more times than I can bear. It seems unreasonable to talk of anything else, close to ridiculous to continue our Merry Christmas greetings and yet we do. Merry Christmas.

There are plenty of words being written about the horror, maybe too many. Maybe it is our only way to enter in and weep with those who weep.

And I am angry. Heaven help us if we ever stop being angry as hell and crying out for change.

A few voices of reason and hope . ..

so I cry again, and I curse, and pray for peace that passes all understanding.
We need the pragmatists with policy , we need the prophets streaked in ash,
We need the God who sees, and God with us. In which we need pragmatists and prophets by Sarah Bessey
Rachel Held Evans, God Can't Be Kept Out -Amen to every word of this.
God can be wherever God wants to be. God needs no formal invitation. We couldn’t “systematically remove” God if we tried. 

Bullshit National Grieving at Huffington Post
Words like senselessinexplicableunimaginable must for now be banned from our grief liturgy about gun violence in this country. For what happened in that elementary school (and on the Chicago streets, etc.)makes sense, can be explained, and is not only imaginable but predictable based on all that has happened before.

Our Moloch at NYR blog
 That horror cannot be blamed just on one unhinged person. It was the sacrifice we as a culture made, and continually make, to our demonic god. We guarantee that crazed man after crazed man will have a flood of killing power readily supplied him. We have to make that offering, out of devotion to our Moloch, our god. The gun is our Moloch. We sacrifice children to him daily—sometimes, as at Sandy Hook, by directly throwing them into the fire-hose of bullets from our protected private killing machines, sometimes by blighting our children’s lives by the death of a parent, a schoolmate, a teacher, a protector. Sometimes this is done by mass killings (eight this year), sometimes by private offerings to the god (thousands this year).

I love Ann Curry's call for 26 Acts of Kindness, and the stories I read of strangers offering kindness to others bring me to tears.

Finally, for one small dose of sheer pleasure, you really must read this incredibly lovely essay: Joy by Zadie Smith New York Review of Books
It might be useful to distinguish between pleasure and joy. But maybe everybody does this very easily, all the time, and only I am confused. A lot of people seem to feel that joy is only the most intense version of pleasure, arrived at by the same road—you simply have to go a little further down the track. That has not been my experience. And if you asked me if I wanted more joyful experiences in my life, I wouldn’t be at all sure I did, exactly because it proves such a difficult emotion to manage. It’s not at all obvious to me how we should make an accommodation between joy and the rest of our everyday lives.

Last weekend I made a little journey around the Lake to visit old friends in Grand Rapids.

It is always so good to spend time with these friends I love, and forty-eight hours of grown-up conversation and good, good food. Plenty of both. Aside from visiting my friends I had one hope for the weekend which was good food and I was not disappointed. 

We ate and talked, drank good coffee, ate, drank coffee, talked, ate, saw Anna Karenina, ate, talked, drank coffee. And just like that the weekend was over. 

Time away clears my head, offers new angles from which to think. And Seth and Sally are some of my favorite people. Jim and the kids kept busy and did great, I came home to a happy family, high on conversation and caffeine. 

I have promised Jim and myself that this week of Christmas will be slow. I will not stress out over things that don't matter, I will keep things light and meaningful, I will stay off of Pinterest and facebook.

On Monday the homeschool co-op went caroling to a nursing home, and it was beautiful. Everything is bringing me to tears right now. There is so much to be thankful for. 


Shannon said...

Jess, thank you for your words. They ARE meaningful and beautiful. This is a hard, hard time and just a mix of emotions, happiness, sadness, anger... so many.

I love you friend. Glad you got time away, some good coffee and food and good time with your peeps. :)


Ruth said...

That Zadie Smith essay was something else. I think I'd better find one of her novels.