It's been a heck of a week. Some friends of mine are going through a painful event, the kind of thing that makes you feel powerless to help. Members of my family are having health problems. At least three people I know have gotten in car accidents.
You do what you can in circumstances like these. You offer support, you offer prayers, you offer time. But you can't really fix it. And then there are things like finances and distance that make it hard to be there in all the ways you want to be.
And then there's the fear to deal with. Having lots of big, uncontrollable awfulness come at you all at once makes you fully aware that life is not fair, that it's full of dangerous situations and people, that everything that matters to you is unbearably fragile. You realize all over again that there's a wound in every one of us that will never fully heal on this earth.
You want to do something, anything, to fight against the pain and sadness and despair of the world. Something to heal it. But you're only one person. One flawed, messy human being. You can't make cancer or depression vanish from another person's body. You can't turn back time or raise the dead or heal a broken heart.
What do you do?
I don't have a good answer. But the answer I do have is this: to go back to what I know I'm supposed to do. Sometimes, for me, fighting just means doing the little things, creating a little space of light in the darkness.
Hug my husband.
Call my mother.
Smile at people even when I don't feel like it.
Say "I love you".
Because that's what I'm doing in the face of this week. After I've done everything I can do for others, I go back to my keyboard and I fight against the despair in the only way I know how.
Words are my weapons. Words that describe the textures, both smooth and harsh, of being human.Words that create imperfect people who still manage to love and learn and ultimately have hope.
Words that make light.
"Every word written is a victory against death."