Let’s keep hope alive

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I have not written on my blog in a very long time. I just couldn’t. Not that I couldn’t find sufficient issues to write about but instead I felt as though I couldn’t sufficiently communicate the pain I was feeling in my heart for humanity’s current state. Time after time, news reports confirmed the fact that we seem to have lost our basic humanity and our ability to feel compassion to others.

Waves of despair presented themselves through reports which came relentlessly: one violent or oppressive act after the other often ending with someone’s life being taken away senselessly. I found myself needing to cope with the increasing violence against persons of my own ilk – of African descent, immigrant, black/ brown, female, Christian, working class among other relatable descriptors. It became too painful to read, watch and listen to reports of people being murdered without justifiable cause, of women’s rights being taken away, of our vaginas becoming fodder for gossip and being up for grabs to whom-ever wants to do, well, just that.

My faith was and still is being tried when I read of the many injustices that take place daily to the point where some of us seem to have become numb to their existence. It’s become such a regular occurrence that some people shrug and say “That’s just the way it is” because they too just can’t find the words to express their horror. I’ve listened to voice notes of women pleading for their lives from serial rapists and murderers on social media, all the while scrolling through news of a spouse murdering his wife and children because he wanted to get back at her. There are increased incidences of cyber bulling amongst adults, and  most recently of persons being encouraged to commit suicide (see the recent incidents of live suicides of Facebook).

Seriously, I couldn’t deal. It became too much and I had to step away and regroup. I needed to centre myself in the midst of this chaos that seemed to have taken over the world, my world. So I shut it all out, for a while so I could gather myself and steady my footing as I sought to navigate and understand this new paradigm.

What has happened to us? Why can’t we recognize that we have so much more in common than we are different? We are one human race, sharing a planet that we have done our best to destroy with our careless use of its resources. If we took the time out to listen in love to each other, simple though it seems, we could arrive at solutions that are mutually beneficial to us. I am not so foolish that I cannot recognize that its way more complicated than that and thus it would take time. But every worthwhile effort begins with a first step, and I know that we (all of us humans) are worth saving and so a step, whatever it is, is worth taking. The sad fact is however, is that we seem to be without a natural ability or inclination to love each other. We have placed a selfish love of ourselves and the ‘things’ we have and think we need, above all and everyone else.

What a world we live in.

But I dare to imagine that it can and will be better. I dare to imagine gender rights, religious and political freedoms. I dare to imagine leaders of countries, while seeking to protect the rights and welfare of their citizens, actively and judiciously, do so without trampling on the rights of others. I dare to imagine us engaging each other, acknowledging the wrongs we have all perpetuated against each other and seek ways to fix it. I dare to imagine that families and communities can return to or begin to take care of each other and move away from this individualistic, selfish mode of existence. Though my faith in us is terribly challenged, it hasn’t died. Once there’s life, there’s hope.

Let’s keep hope alive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Walk

I like my hair today. It feels soft and curls around my finger, just so. So good that its cooperating because I’m really not in the mood to deal with it and I want to head out for a minute.

The sun feels nice and warm on my face. Rain? There’s a hint in the breeze, probably later in the afternoon. I guess I should hurry along and get the shopping done. It’s hard to hurry along on a beautiful day like this though. This has always been my favourite thing about living here – this long drive, lined with trees, whisper their secrets to me. Alton Johnson – you know, the boy that worked for the Steers? They put him on that limb. Poor boy howled like a hound dog as they strung him up. Didn’t do him no good though. I shush them. Today was not a day for sadness. I didn’t want to hear it. Smiling, I hurry along the path, swinging my basket.

There’s a man walking towards me. George? Yes! I run towards him, dropping my basket as I leap into his arms. He swings me around, laughter crinkling around his eyes. I laugh out loud, giddy from the love and pure joy I feel. These strong arms will always protect me. I sigh and rest on his chest, inhaling his scent.

………………………………………

“Mrs Stanhope? How are you feeling today? Ah, I see you’re smiling which means you will have some of this pudding. Come on now, let me get you all comfy in this chair”.

The nurse adjusts the blanket around her legs, tucking it firmly like the swaddling of a new-born and rolls her out to the veranda. “Southern summers can be tricky”, she thinks. “Let me place her under this fan. She could use the coolness”.

“How is she today?”, Myrna whispers, as she walks in, dropping her purse onto the chair.

“Much better. Today she is smiling and quiet. That is a vast improvement on yesterday screaming”, Nurse replies. “Maybe you can get her to try some of this pudding. She has not eaten since yesterday”.

Myrna takes it and places it on the table beside her. Nurse smiles and squeezes her shoulder in encouragement. ” She’s blessed to have you. It will be okay”. Myrna smiles in return and wheels the chair around to face her.

“Mama?”, she whispers, tucking a curl behind her mother’s ear.