My mind has been filled with so many different thoughts this week. The ever repeating theme is the fragility of life.
I'm relatively new to the blogging world. A few days ago I was taking a look at Janie's daughter-in-law's blog and discovered the story of a young Provo woman with four small children who was in a plane crash with her husband. They are both seriously burned and in intensive care in a burn unit in Arizona. I went on to read this young woman's sister's blog as well. She describes caring for her sister's children in addition to breast feeding her new baby boy. "nienie" apparently had a huge blogging audience and the story of her accident and the outpouring of love, support and contributions eventually reached the NY Times! Now it's virtually impossible for me not to get caught up in the lives of people I have never met. I am awed by those who have written so lovingly about their family and the response of other's who have never met this family as well.
Two days later I received through email a prayer request followed by a sad announcement of the death of a beautiful 17 year old girl in Park City. She had traveled the world and started school at the U, had hopes and dreams so similar to my children, my friend's children, so close in age.
How can I feel so badly about people I have never met? I can only begin to imagine the emotional pain. I had read about that plane crash but it wasn't until a face, a name, a family was put to the story that it had an impact on me. Life is fragile and brief. Sometimes it's difficult not to feel overwhelmed by the suffering of humans and animals on our small, blue planet.
On the other hand, my life today was filled with mundane activities--laundry, cleaning, chores in general. I do try to practice gratitude for my life, my blessings, the many gifts I receive and witness every single day but sometimes I don't. Sometimes I complain, whine and worry. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by other people's problems and fail to recognize all that is good in my little world today.
Another absorbing but more insane activity is following the election news. I try not to watch mainstream media and instead choose to read opinions on the internet. I felt compelled to watch Sarah Palin's speech before everyone put their spin on it. On the very most superficial level, I could find myself liking her, until I started getting that queasy feeling I get when I hear politicians lie, the feeling I got when Bush was trying to convince us that it was a good thing to go to war in Iraq. Even listening to Obama sometimes I wonder, how is it possible to change anything in our broken society? Hope can be audacious and it can also lead to suffering when our expectations go unmet. I want to believe that things can get better, that we can restore our foreign relations, that we can somehow take care of our problems at home. But, mostly my response to all of the politicans has been to think, "That is hot air and empty promises."
So, again, I think, how can I pull myself out of the quagmire of sadness and pessimism? How can I focus on what's good, true and beautiful? Because there is a lot out there that is. It is a choice, a matter of focus. I can make myself sick with worry and negativity or I can choose to see what is wondrous and magical about life. It seems to be a struggle for all of us in one way or another. I want to make the best of it. There is so little I can control.
I suppose I'll continue to post pretty pictures with spiritual thoughts because it makes me feel better and it's my small way of putting something positive out into the world.
"But surrender asks us to allow events to unfold at their own pace, to get out of our own way and to let go of our desire for control. Surrender is an act of trust in the universe, an acknowledgment that there are forces beyond our will at work."--Arthur Rubenstien