I consider myself to be very fortunate. I have always felt safe.
Well, almost always.
Looking back, there were many challenges such as the loss of loved ones and family members for which one can never prepare. These hard times put me on my knees.
There was also the loss of a job, broken relationships, two of my homes were robbed and I was physically assaulted once as a young girl. I was poor enough at one point where I didn’t know when I could eat again. In all of these times my footing felt unsure and insecure at best. And I was sometimes frightened and brokenhearted.
Yet, I am keenly aware that these experiences pale next to the daily torture, trauma and injustices experienced by strangers I have yet to meet in the world around me. So very many.
I think about this disparity a lot. Especially in today’s version of our world. In my heart, I can never be right with so much injustice, inequality and disrespect for the human condition. My moral compass just can’t get right with it.
So, I pay attention to it…..to see what I can learn and how I might help to make things better for others. As inadequate as it might feel at times, my action always seems to be about finding beauty. Beauty in the natural world and in relationship with others. Beauty, somehow, takes me to a place of hope which is what I would wish for every soul on this planet. And if I could wrap up that hope in a box and deliver it to all, I would. Hope is our safety in the mist. It should be every human being’s inalienable right.
One of my favorite songwriters today is a woman named Carrie Newcomer. She is a talented writer, poet and musician who’s work really speaks to me. I thought of her when I made the image above which I named “Safe Harbor”. “Sanctuary” works also.
Carrie was inspired to write the words to this song after speaking with her friend Parker J. Palmer about what to do when one is feeling “personally or politically heartbroken.”
“Sanctuary” by Carrie Newcomer
Will you be my refuge
My haven in the storm,
Will you keep the embers warm
When my fire's all but gone?
Will you remember
And bring me sprigs of rosemary,
Be my sanctuary
'Til I can carry on
In order for me to feel hopeful, I know that I need to be finding beauty in the world around me and work to create more of it; within myself, my communities and beyond.
I don’t know what else to do.