Crisis Point

I am so angry, I am beyond furious. I am a volcano of rage. 

Ineptitude. Stupidity. Ignorance. Deceit. Greed: They’re not just winning; they’ve won, I think. The losses, the drowning, the panic, the fear, the flood of tears…so many deaths due to a lack of foresight and a rejection of plans that had been in place. Such great willingness on the part of what passes, absurdly, for leadership to sacrifice the innocent for political gain.

I think: We cannot turn away. We cannot abandon those in the hospitals and those responding to calls for help, those meeting the hurricane of suffering, tending this one, the next, the overflowing, unending need of fellow humans, each distinct, each with a story ending. Now. Gasping for air, suffocating on their own fluids.

I must watch the reports, listen to the stories, stand with these heroes, suffering beside them, feeling all the fear, the chaos, the pain, the infinite demand of their energy as they seek, beyond human endurance, to stay focused on the one person before them, while their companions falter, drop, and die. I must share their helplessness. I must take responsibility for the inability to stem the tide of horror. I must not turn away. What right have I to rest when they cannot?

I do not know what to do with this rage and sadness…

And I am so ready to hate and to desire the obliteration of those whose ignorance has led us to this lack of preparation and ill-use of our intelligence, potential, and gifts. What we feared for years has happened, and there is no vindication.

And then I remember my mother, my darling Mama, sitting beside me, dying from the strain of heart failure and dialysis, after years of caring for my father following his own massive stroke. He had only recently died, and we hoped that now, in his release to peace, Mama would find some years of respite and joy, time to live without worry, to travel, visit friends and family, relax. But the years of stress had taken their toll on her health, as these things do, and now she faced her own death. 

And so, we sat together one afternoon after dialysis had left her exhausted, and I upended and over-spilled. I railed and wept and told her how outraged I felt at the unfairness of this outcome. She didn’t deserve this. 

And she turned to me, with such palpable kindness and love, and she assured me that my life would proceed and I would be O.K. Her faith, her set of beliefs, her long-lived years of sacrifice and loving had deepened her capacity to withstand and enter mystery. They had prepared her for dying with acceptance and peace. 

She said–and I’ve never forgotten this–that I had no idea what events and circumstances awaited those of us who would survive her loss. We could not know what suffering, what terrors, what evil might sweep across our lives, or the world, or how they would require our endurance, our strength, our love, and our gifts. She said it would be necessary to heal and to prepare our hearts, minds, and spirits to meet the challenges in our own lives with the best we could offer rather than face challenges weakened by unhealed grief or the anger we could summon regarding life’s inherently perceived unfairness.

And here we all are. At the crisis point of our lives. 

And I hear the echo of Mama’s words and think: I have to sacrifice my rage. I have to transform its energy into love and realize, once again, I’m being asked to stand by in the face of extraordinary suffering. I’m asked, again, to witness and support the hell faced by others: those in the hospitals and those at work in the world, while I remain in quarantine. 

I have to let go of the hatred I feel for those who have allowed this horror to widen and deepen and accelerate beyond what might have happened. I have to remain in isolation, guard my health, turn off the words that incite unrelieved anger and grief, and prepare. I have to turn from the televised terror and re-balance. They also serve who only stand and wait, said Milton. Can I find the gift in my impotence?

I am not a doctor, or a nurse, or a scientist, or a respiratory therapist. Those with these gifts are following the unselfish consequences of choosing to honor the calls they came to share.

I have other gifts. My job is to see where they can lead, and to be willing to use them when they are needed, however I can help, at whatever cost. My job today is to witness, to love, to wait, to stay healthy, to shine light, to acknowledge loss and suffering, to grieve, to rage and to let go of rage and see how life will endure. 

My job is to see that spring has come, that birds are singing, that green is returning, that light still shines, and to flash that back to the world and re-balance, even a little, the sorrow that could rob us of hope.

Many of us are at home, feeling powerless, but we’re not. We’re not. We can truly be “working from home.” We can hold in our hearts the memories of the greatness we’re witnessing all around the world. We can treasure and protect the promise of what we can become when the deep work of healing begins. We can consciously gestate the better creations we will offer the world when we are able to meet again and embrace, and the gifts we’ve fed are needed for nourishment.

We can begin learning how to surrender, how to transform hatred, grief, and anger into love. 

And this is our work, and this is why we are here, and this is what we offer the world at its crisis point, and when the crisis passes.

 

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Sonnet 19: When I consider how my light is spent

By: John Milton

When I consider how my light is spent,
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my Soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide;
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er Land and Ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.”

 

 

23 thoughts on “Crisis Point

  1. Thank you for April 2, 2020. My daughter is an emergency room nurse and her husband is a fire fighter. They have 2 little boys that I care for while they must go out to work. My daughter was shaking when she said goodbye to me as she went out the door to work last night. She said “thank you mom, take good care of my babies”

    1. Oh, Christa. Your daughter and son-in-law are saving our world and sacrificing so much to do so, as are you. Great love to all in your family; may they be safe and well, and blessings to your own heart and those sweet grandchildren. I hold you in my heart and prayers, as does a grateful world. Gentle, gentle peace surround you and rest in your spirit. Kitty

  2. Thank you for sharing, so eloquently, a way of transforming difficult emotions – your gift of writing helps me … what a wise woman your mother was!
    Much love

    1. Oh yes, she was. I wish she were here; I’m glad she’s not–the perpetual dichotomy. Thank you so much for visiting and sharing your response; it means a lot to me. Take care and be safe. 🙂 And great gentle peace to you.

  3. I was worried about you at first, Kitty…that indeed they HAD won, and we had lost. That we’d lost your voice of wisdom and courage. You have reached the conclusion that I have had to hold, perhaps been forced to hold, through my 77 years, a conclusion and a message and guidance that I have received over and over, even in these dark days, and I’m deeply grateful for your eloquence. I cannot say it as well.

  4. Thank you, Kate. I think our anger is holy, too, but yes, how we translate that energy matters. I so admire your wisdom and welcome your visits and comments. Gentle peace to you, and thank you, again.

    1. Oh indeed, we need to feel our feelings, and honestly at that…we just can’t afford to be owned by them, certainly not now. I know far too many who are making themselves ill, physically and mentally, from anger, fear, paranoia, and hatred. We all feel those things, and they are sacred, or can be. They sometimes spur us to action. But we need compassion…for ourselves as well. It’s so easy to give up and fall into despair. All best to you…

  5. Your words speak to my heart and the value of all lives. My work is on the front lines-at a hospital in the Midwest. It’s so overwhelming, isn’t it? But we shall persist in each of our ways, and contribute to the lives of others.

  6. Bless you, bless you, Cheryl. We have many friends in hospitals in Madison, WI; we have heard many stories from all over the world; we have seen the footage…and we still can’t imagine what you’re going through, but oh, how we love you for your sacrifice and willingness, despite fear, to enter the mad fray and love what’s before you. Please take the best care you can; be safe; be well, Cheryl. Know our prayers surround you, and gentle peace.

  7. Lovely inspired words yet again, Especially “My job is to see that spring has come, that birds are singing, that green is returning, that light still shines, and to flash that back to the world and re-balance, even a little, the sorrow that could rob us of hope”

    1. Thank you. How kind of you to visit, share, and join my heart, for even a moment, in meeting this great sorrow while hanging on to our hope. Gentle peace to you. Stay safe and be well.

  8. It is in these moments that we turn to ourselves and ask ourselves ” If I die today, what will I leave behind as a legacy?”. I believe that everything has a reason, that there are no circumstances and I have been writing for years that humanity can’t make a leap until something really really bad happens because we have been taking too much for granted and relying on others to make us happy. Out of this will come the sun, a new dawn, a new beginning and much will be exposed to us, the lies, corruption and enslavement of humanity. Celebrate instead of feeling sadness, rejoice in that we are now moving into a new era. This is my philosophy because I believe in reincarnation and that many souls have chosen to leave, they did their work, and those left behind will continue with their work and win this time. Win in achieving Peace, win in finally being the ones to lead our nations and not corrupt politicians.

  9. I am glad you are seeing possibilities in the midst of our current crisis. I also think inviting celebration and rejoicing is premature and not comforting to those enduring loss, hunger, fear for their own safety and the safety of loved ones. Perhaps we can allow time for grief and the slow work of healing before we can begin to welcome transformation. Although hope and loss need not be experienced exclusively, I hope we can give all our feelings space and reflection.

    Thank you for visiting and sharing another perspective, Ines. Be safe and well. Gentle peace to you.

  10. Beautifully written. I try hard to let go of negative emotions, it can be an uphill battle though. Yes, Spring is Springing despite what is happening around the world. You certainly always shine a light.xxx

    1. Do you know, dear one, we had t-shirt weather today!!! Very healing, as rainy days are coming along in a string of clouds and storms, so we are very thankful. Open windows and birdsong: Perfect gifts for Phillip’s birthday. Grateful for your light, too. Sending love.

      1. Ahhhh, a very happy birthday to Philip. Hubs had a birthday on 29th and daughter’s coming up on the 9th. Life goes on! Good to know it’s warming up! xxx

  11. I needed this. Oh, how I needed this. I felt every heartwrenching word you wrote, like a searing knife.

    But my own humanity required grace, and you helped me remember how to find it.

    Thank you.

  12. Oh, how kind of you to write, Jeanne…I’m glad the words helped you find the way to your center; I hope you can rest and regather your peace, connect with your Source and be well. Sending love to you.

  13. Kitty,
    I am looking through your work and writings. No doubt more people will do this after reading your beautiful poem.
    “We can begin learning how to surrender, how to transform hatred, grief, and anger into love.”
    I love how you used the simple word, ‘transform’. Transformation is a definite must for all of us.
    Love from Oz.

  14. And it’s very hard work, and ongoing, isn’t it? But easier with friends’ support. Here’s to becoming. Gentle peace, Kitty

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