in which i have a lot of feelings

There aren’t even pictures in this post. My tons of feelings aren’t hurt if you pedal right past this one.

Joining the trend of feeling totally off kilter in the world this week. I was home on vacation for a long, long time and even though I was aware and upset about of Ferguson and ISIS and ebola and all the things that everyone has been following with a deepening sick feeling, and I kept thinking, yes, yes, I feel the same way, this is awful.

I checked out while I was on vacation, as I was fairly unplugged from Twitter and the news and that kept me from feeling too deep or dark. Then, I came back to DC, started my new job and was like, okay, I can check out for REAL now to focus on work.

But then, just before I started drafting this post yesterday, I saw the news about James Foley and thought I was going to throw up. My degrees of separation from him were few, thanks to the orbit of Marquette University encompassing a lot of my family and friends.

As mentally tired as I am from boning up on documents for my work project, I’m emotionally drained as well. Usually I get to step back and subconsciously think to myself, “Well, this is terrible, but I’m separate from this, this is not the same world I live in, this is not something I have to wake up in the morning and think about and lay down at night and think about.” But hoo boy, that is not the case anymore. When did this happen?! It’s always been this way, hasn’t it, without me really noticing?

Here are five posts that are helping me reframe and reprocess and refocus. Varying degrees of all sorts of things, but all giving me different pieces of the puzzle this week.

Numbering in Spanish to keep it light or something.

uno. Design for Minikind: Dear Bee

The heart of this post, the gut, the drive — it reminded me of the Jean Vanier quote that stuck with me from On Being not too long ago. My gut knows, too. To be better. To unleash what I do have to give light to others in my life with whatever tools I have.

dos. Wit+Delight: On Current Events: Different Names for the Same Thing

“Be brave enough to feel empathy. Be brave enough to speak up. That’s what we can do right now. Be brave and be kind.” Kate’s right. A simple and stark reminder.

tres. Carrots for Michaelmas: We Are Still the Easter People

Two liturgical phrases have been pinging in my brain since I read this — “Easter people” as Haley referenced, but also “the communion of saints.” (Wikipedia here because, you know what, Wikipedia is helpful.) The Christians in Iraq are part of the very same Body that I am — united in faith, hope, and love. They are the Easter people, too.

quatro. Mama Needs Coffee: St. Maximilian Kolbe and Living in the Present Tense

I sat in mass on the feast of Maximilian Kolbe and thought yes, yes, this is what I need to remember. And felt like I was really addressing my feelings about all the straight up CRAP that is going on out there. A feast day of a self-sacrificing martyr of the Holocaust? At a shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Good Help? Thinking of this post about the saint and the reminder to live, really LIVE, in the world? Bam. Hot knife to the heart. My gut knew this, too. And then I got up, walked out, and kept telling myself everything was normal. Joke’s on you, Brigid.

cinco. Marquette Magazine: A Phone Call Home: A Letter from James Foley to Marquette

Jim Foley in his own words. I hope he was able to hang on to that peace and freedom of the deepest kind for the last two years. Two years.

And poetry helps. Doesn’t it always?

A Hundred Years From Now – David Shumate

I’m sorry I won’t be around a hundred years from now. I’d like to see how it all turns out. What language most of you are speaking. What country is swaggering across the globe. I’m curious to know if your medicines cure what ails us now. And how intelligent your children are as they parachute down through the womb. Have you invented new vegetables? Have you trained spiders to do your bidding? Have baseball and opera merged into one melodic sport? A hundred years….My grandfather lived almost that long. The doctor who came to the farmhouse to deliver him arrived in a horse-drawn carriage. Do you still have horses?
Psalm – Stuart Kestenbaum
The only psalm I had memorized was the 23rd
and now I find myself searching for the order
of the phrases knowing it ends with surely
goodness and mercy will follow me
all the days of my life and I will dwell
in the house of the Lord forever only I remember
seeing a new translation from the original Hebrew
and forever wasn’t forever but a long time
which is different from forever although
even a long time today would be
good enough for me even a minute entering
the House would be good enough for me,
even a hand on the door or dropping today’s
newspaper on the stoop or looking in the windows
that are reflecting this morning’s clouds in first light.
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