Home Sacred life Not Enough

Words are my life. I write, therefore I am; or it might be, I am therefore I write. But it is hard to write about anything right now.

It is hard to not write over and over again: what is wrong with us? Humanity, what is wrong with us? Where did we go wrong, was it the first rock picked up by a barely erect hominid? Did she turn it on her friend in anger? Did an ancient hunter, hurling his spear at his prey realize with blinding clarity that his enemy would also be pierced by that chiseled edge? Somewhere we turned off the road of sanity and down this one and have never looked back.

I don’t watch the news, I don’t have the stomach for it. But you’d have to be living under a rock to not know we’re tearing ourselves apart. Only in most cases we don’t even know it. We’ve so convinced ourselves that ‘they’ are other, different, not us that we believe it. We believe we can turn away a busload of desperate children and still go home to our own children at night. We believe we can chose a side in a war, and that someone will win.

It is hard to write about prayer, or Eucharist, or God when there are bodies broken by human hands. I made the mistake of clicking on an article about a veteran of some American war and din’t get three paragraphs before the author assured us that this veteran deserved help because she wasn’t one of those down and out veterans, she was a business owner. Them, they, those people.

Every time, every time those words flow from a human mouth we all lose a piece of our collective soul. Humanity becomes a little less, human. Every time we turn away, raise our fist, strike the other, the veil between we and God grows a little thicker. We are losing ourselves. Maybe we always have been but we do it now with glee, with machine guns slung over our shoulders and righteousness a badge and warrant.

It is hard to write anything, as a missile obliterates another slivery of the Divine, another beating heart turned into jelly, caught on the wrong side of a line Earth cannot see, the hills grope to feel and find… nothing. Because there is nothing there but an idea, separating, cutting like a knife through our humanity; down to the bones. We are all human, we all suffer. It should be enough.

Sometimes the poet must write with thunderous truth the words we least want to hear, sometimes sing the songs that sooth our hearts. Entreat, sooth, implore!

Sometimes the bodies pile up too high, the suffering grows too thick on the ground, the roar of propaganda, the dragon of fear bellows so loudly we grow deaf and the poet must stand mute, silent, ashamed. She must press her forehead into the soil, taste the dirt to which we all shall go and be the silence that offers no excuses, no explanations, only grief.

 

What will you offer?

 

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"Yo Mama's Pieta," a photo by Renee Cox, as seen in "Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People," a film by Thomas Allen Harris.