It is Christmas Eve. In my refrigerator, a cheesecake, a pumpkin-sweet potato pie, marinating chicken breasts, a ham for tomorrow.
And so on. A full larder, a heavy heart.
I said to a friend that I thought all of the mangers in nativity scenes should be empty in solidarity with the children of Newtown.
For the idea that we have been saved from ourselves or anyone else is ludicrous.
What we really need to focus upon at this time of year is the rebirth of love for one another– and never has that been more necessary, or harder to do than this particular holiday season.
I for one still have roiling anger at the gun-crazed among us–anger alternating with grief. It is grief that feels old, dating back to the dashing of hope and the aborting of Christmas expectations occurring in my world when I was a girl.
But to that grief has attached the image of those children, their terror, and what the unspeakable monster child– he was a child, after all– has taken from all of us.
Anderson Cooper conducted a tender interview with the parents of one victim and they spoke of how their daughter is in “heaven with her arms around the other children.”
I would not begrudge anyone what ever comforts them.
I do believe that we need to step out of our delusions that a Supreme Anything has its reasons for such events, and come into reality.
Reality is that we are individually responsible for ourselves– our own happiness and our own torment and all that lies between. Reality for me is this: the fairy tale doesn’t work anymore.
God is not. We are all we have.
Simple enough, hard to grasp. We are wholly and completely responsible for the quality of our own lives and how we behave in the world. We have a duty to act to prevent the massacre of children, and everything else providing a context for that event.
Love is, and we are not puppets on invisible strings. We have the capacity to love and to act.
I will light candles and play ethereal music and methodically put dinner on the table today because I don’t know what else to do and because I love, helplessly. I will at least, in the wake of Newtown, do these things with more awareness, I pray, of how quickly what we love can be taken away.
Especially, how quickly love itself can turn to fear and hate and drive us to desperation. Do we not all have this ability as well, to wound, drive away, harm, and worse.