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14 Aug

Hope in the Dark

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I don’t know about you, but I am finding the world to be a wearying and discouraging place these days. More than that: terrible, maddening, heartbreaking.

Racism. Sexism. Environmental crisis. Every day seems to bring more bad news. And not just your everyday, troubling, hell-in-a-handbasket bad news: terrible bad news, horrific bad news, hell-is-here-and-the-Devil-is-dancing bad news. Nazis are marching. (NAZIS ARE MARCHING.) Fires are burning. War is coming. Bad things are happening, everywhere, and turning on the news or opening Twitter feels like opening a portal into the apocalypse. It feels terrible to witness, and terrible to ignore.

I’ve written before about how to talk to your kids about the terrible things that nature can do (especially the things that human activity makes worse.) I haven’t written about how to talk to your kids about the terrible things that humans do. We’re having those conversations, but we’re working our way up a pretty steep learning curve and making all sorts of mistakes along the way. I’ll keep those to myself, for now.

What I will share: the points of light that help penetrate the darkness. Because sometimes those make all the difference.

  • This keynote speech by Audre Lord is decades old but so, so timely.
  • (EDITED TO ADD) The Syllabus for for White People to Educate Themselves. Read everything on it.
  • This BrainPickings piece on Rachel Carson – “a scientist who refused to give up on writing and a writer who refused to give up on science.”
  • And this 2016 but-also-timely one on Rebecca Solnit on hope in dark times. (“Hope doesn’t mean denying these realities. It means facing them and addressing them by remembering what else the twenty-first century has brought, including the movements, heroes, and shifts in consciousness that address these things now.”)
  • Karen Walrond’s throwback piece on believing in what you do: “Maybe that’s ultimately a big key to having a life you love:  having the conviction that what you do, whether to earn a living or otherwise, serves.  I think, when you do, you can probably endure most rough days.  And know that you and what you do can be for the greater good.” (Also her ‘sunday light’ post from yesterday, which was exactly the right prompt for very necessary tears.)
  • This ‘Parents with Purpose’ interview with oceans crusader Susanna Fuller, especially for the reminder that the “small things are absolutely worthwhile. Its not enough, but it is something.”
  • And this one with mindfulness coach Stephanie Jhala. “The transformation that motherhood brings is the most amazing opportunity for leadership to arise in this world, because we are the biggest influencers on children of the planet and we can be the difference for the entire future of this planet by how we raise them.”
  • Elan Morgan’s Grace in Small Things. Because I do need to be reminded that it is there, in those small things, that grace usually resides.
  • This video. I watched it at least a dozen times the other day. That rhino stands for something, I just don’t know what. Are we the rhino – or are we the cars? Are we barreling blindly down the road, charging everything that moves – or are we the silly creatures in our fragile tin carriers, thinking that it’s enough to just swerve to the roadside and turn around? (And yet, we never really do turn around, do we? We’re always just following along, recording the spectacle on our iPhones, waiting for the worst to happen.) Anyway. However you read it – that rhino was not having our human bullshit and something about that was deeply satisfying.
  • Always, Whole Family Happiness, right over there on Facebook. #wholefamilyhappiness