New Year

I spent the week before Christmas in an elementary school–my favorite place to be before the holidays. But, of course, it was different this year. The children were still so excited, most unaware of the tragedy, but their joy couldn’t supercede the knowing that innocence can be shattered in a split second–that the world as we know it can completely turn upside down in the blink of an eye. There will always be guns in this world; there will always be violence. I am no longer naive enough to think otherwise; but I can still pray for peace. I can still look at a riverbank and see the beauty in a snow-coated pine. I can still catch my breath when a buck emerges from the forest–his presence so regal. I will never understand how someone would want to cut down that tree, shoot down that deer. . . But I have given up trying to understand. I just want to still be able to feel. The one thing I fear is that we will become numb, that all the killing and all the violence will make us close our eyes–will make us sleep through our lives. S. African poet, Jeremy Cronin, said that “Art is the struggle to stay awake.” That is my new year wish for us all: that we remain awake, and somehow, someway, perhaps through Art, find a way to transform our world into a peaceful, loving place. Namaste ~ Lisa