As you may have realized by now if you are an occasional or regular reader of my missives, I do not often delve into the events and happenings that shape the outside world. Instead, I prefer to spend my time and energy on things that shape my inner story: beauty, nature, creativity, science, art, and photography.
Yet the events of the last several weeks have shaken me and I must write something if for no other reason than sheer catharsis. The litany of tragedies – Harvey, Irma, Maria, wildfires, Las Vegas – has left me numb with sadness that is difficult, no impossible, to rationalize. I think of all the affected people and it just breaks my heart. The flag seems to fly at half-staff more often than not. Even the sudden loss of Tom Petty reminds me: no one controls when they turn the final page in their book. The mound of sorrow seems to grow forever large. It goes way back and is sure to continue forward. I guess that is the depressing thing. These events steamroll through our lives like freight trains out of control, and we can do nothing but wait for the next one.
I seek and find solace in many aspects of my life. Family, friends, and loved ones all provide great relief in times of trouble. Yet I also find that sometimes my only solace is nature, which brings a sense of clarity that I don’t find elsewhere. I can stand in my backyard or on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and the affect is the same: I know I’m lucky to be here. I have the gift of a moment in time that I call my life – precious though brief as it may be – on this tiny planet, in this tiny solar system, in this immense universe. And I am fortunate to have a mindful, creativity-driven awareness to try to make sense of it all. Together, nature and creativity offer me a refuge from the chaos of reality and prevent me from falling into a state of utter disillusionment. In the end, as long as I have family, friends, and loved ones, along with solace in nature and creativity, I know will be OK.
I recognize that my form of solace may not be for everyone. Wherever or however you seek yours, I hope you find it. Maybe this image from the canyon lands of Utah will bring a brief respite. Peace.