It’s Sunday morning and our hearts and prayers are with those impacted by last night’s terrorist attacks in London. We are reminded that for many people such events are a daily occurrence, and we hold their lives close.
The sun has come out and a cool breeze provides a bit of relief from the relentless mosquitoes. The rain has let up for the moment so perhaps we will be able to get into the garden for a spell this afternoon. Before that is our annual church picnic and music at Jazz Fest.
It was a hard week in many places. One of the blessings, and curses, of the Internet is one learns much too much about events locally and in far off places. We are also exposed to a vast array of hatred and misinformation, as well as encountering the hopes and fears of others, some of which we may share. I am again reminded, with Freud and T.S. Eliot, that “man cannot bear very much reality”, a sentiment that seems more than apt at this moment.
One of the persistent themes online this week has been the fear of immunization; this is not a fear I share, having survived Polio I rather favor most immunizations. Another fear is climate change. The rapid heating of the biosphere is a profoundly troubling problem. Living as we do in Vermont, we are witness to the quickening pace of change, and to the many stresses warming places on our local and regional ecosystems. Still, I am less concerned the world will become uninhabitable than that we will find ourselves alone here, living in a kind of Hell. Given the ever rising extinction rates of other species, resource depletion, growing food shortages, and the likely appearance of new resource wars and pandemics, the future looks difficult for all of us. There is little reason to believe that wealth will provide much of a barrier for those who have it.
In response to some of this week’s madness we joined about a hundred other folks Friday evening to jointly insist our various levels of government address climate change. In the crowd were children of various ages, many openly expressing deep concern about their future and their beloved world. After a brief walk around downtown, several speakers addressed the group, their voices frequently drowned out by joyfully live jazz emanating from a pub across the street, reminding us that Jazz Fest was underway and creativity is loose in the world.
In spite of this week’s events we hold hope close to our hearts, call forth a vision of a peaceful, thriving planet, and do what we are able to support life affirming change. We join with others to search for a way forward, and offer support to those who need it. As the spirits and elders have taught, we share our guarded optimism and invite others to feel and nurture hope, for if we fail to articulate our dreams and visions of a better world, the demagogues will shape our collective dreaming and grow our suffering.
Are not these the task of each generation? Will you share with us your dreams, hopes, and aspirations for your life and the world? What is your vision of the way forward?