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Day 216: Coming Undone

“What Emerson called the Over-soul reminds us that we are joined not only by our habits and our urges and our fears but also by our dreams and that best part of us that intuits an identity larger than you or I. Look up, wherever you are, and you can see what we have in common; look down–or inside–and you can see something universal. It is only when you look around that you note divisions.” -Pico Iyer

Some days it seems like the world is in a continuous process of coming undone.  I don’t know if it just how I am listening, but the news of the day makes me despair, and all my best efforts to make things work don’t come together. The drug cartels that are more powerful than the nations they have now claimed and the economy that is bigger than any of us, and yet made of all of us, all seems out of control.

Then the stories close to home: a friend getting another biopsy for another lump, an employee whose aunt just died after years of fighting cancer, leaving four young kids, a mindless distracted moment behind the wheel resulting in a fender bender. All of this chaos happening in one day, in one small life makes you pause and think of how much pain and suffering this world holds.   Everything is going faster, the extremes of wealth and poverty are widening, the population growth that is coming to dominate this planet is mostly taking place in developing countries where living conditions have not improved by much in the last century.

I try not to look in this direction most days and then all of a sudden I am overcome by it.

Then it takes me all night to find a place inside of me that can believe in something I can’t see. Beyond the divisions that make the world so hard and raw, there is in each of us this drive to love and, in following that path, we change the world often without even knowing it. Intermarriage between rival tribes, between religions, between races are the individual acts of love that transform prejudices for entire families, not just the people who marry.

Healing happens in the journey of illnesses and the intense gratitude and presence that comes from the first hand knowledge of how brief our time is puts all this suffering in its proper place. Death is no tragedy compared to a life that turns year after year without the inspiration of love. So while life is coming apart faster than we can deal with, it is also being held together by the invisible strands of connection that are where matter and spirit unite on this planet and the only answer to every question is love.