Winter 2002The other day, Melonie said, "These are hard times for an optimist." I'd been feeling like a hose with the water turned on full blast, but the nozzle shut off. Strange that, in the aftermath of September 11th, New York seems to have gotten religion, and my faith has been so rattled. But, I've been feeling a little better lately. It's hard to say why. Several things have happened in the past few weeks that have given me some perspective.
A couple of weeks ago I was at the coffee shop down on Main Street and I was very depressed. I sat out front at a table all alone. The girl who works there came out for a cigarette. She is from Kosovo and doesn't speak much English, but she could tell I was depressed and asked what was wrong. I went off on this long diatribe about the state of the world, about how horrible things were, about how worried I was about it all. I went on for several minutes and finally ended with a long sad exhale. She said to me very simply, "It's going to get better." I was blown away, here was this young girl who had escaped from Kosovo during the Nato bombing, she had a much broader world view than I had, I was very encouraged by her remark. It bolstered me all week, giving me an unusual sense of hope. So I was in the coffee shop the other day and she was working behind the coffee bar. I felt compelled to tell her how much her remark had helped me, so I said, "thanks for what you said, last week." And she gave me a strange look and turned her head sideways, and I said, "you know, I was talking about the state of the world, about the war and how sad I was about it, and you said, It's going to get better." And she paused, and said, "Oh, I thought you were talking about the weather!"
Seeing the film Amelie was enlivening. A friend gave me a copy of the Tao Te Ching. Another friend gave me a set of audio tapes by Brian Swimme. Canticle to the Cosmos. Listening to them while I paint has been uplifting and helped me have a sense of hope. If we can all do the creative work that we are called to do then we will all be a part of the great dance of creation. We must continue to be inquisitive, asking questions and not accepting pat answers. In time, our wounds will heal and the truth will be revealed.
Stand Sure. Bo