Saturday, June 18, 2016

finding the right words

June 18, 2016: 
Part 1

I'm having a hard time finding the right words for things this week, so I thought I would skip writing anything at all today. After all, I just got back from a trip to Pittsburgh, and tomorrow I leave for Massachusetts. I didn't think I had any meaningful commentary to add to this week's news, and I certainly didn't expect to find time to write. I have to pack.

But when I got up, I couldn't resist going outdoors. When I left the house there wasn't a cloud in the sky, not a breeze. Fields that were emerald two weeks ago had turned to gold. Except for birdsong, the world was silent--not an airplane overhead, not a lawnmower humming away, not a single dog barking in the distance. For me it was the perfect way to start the day...too perfect for words.

As I walked I remembered the headlines from this past week. I thought about the families who are burying their LGBT sons and daughters today. Families who lost young children in unimaginable tragedies this past week. People fleeing deadly floods and raging wildfires. A friend whose cancer is spreading. For them, this is a terrible day...too horrible for words.

I walked with them for an hour and a half this morning, but it wasn't enough. Not long enough, not far enough, not hard enough. I may have to go back out again later...

June 18, 2016
Part 2

This weekend we observe Fathers' Day. In a perfect world, every day would be a happy day for fathers. But it isn't. Too many despair of finding and keeping their jobs so they can care for their families.Too many of them are stalked by bitter memories of war or abuse or the shortcomings of their own childhoods.  Some are besieged by addiction to drugs or alcohol, to gambling or sex, to the very work they take such pride in. Some have lost a child. 

In a perfect world, the rest of us would be happy to celebrate Fathers' Day with them, but we can't. We don't always know how to comfort them, or heal them, or make peace with them. Some of them are already gone. 

Perhaps we should try celebrating Heroic Fathers Day or Healing Fathers Day or Hopeful Fathers Day for the men out there who can't find happiness. For the rest of you:

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