Before I could ever imagine the age of Trump and Climate Change and Corona... well, maybe I could imagine climate change; I grew up with the TV image of a child plucking petals from a daisy, he loves me, he loves me not, with the orange backdrop of nuclear destruction; and the wild, wild kingdom with predictions of giraffes' (my favorite zoo animal) habitats being paved by corporations; I read a book that determined my destiny. If anything ever went wrong at the zoo.... all the animals could come to my house where I would mend their broken hearts, make up for the loss of their family and habitat with my own. As a child I believed that as long as the trees got taller and James Taylor was my friend everything would continue to get better.
Now we live in foreboding times; dishonesty swirls around us like a virus we cannot distance ourselves from. Epistemological betrayal, a big word that means our leaders are liars and the truth is so polluted and diluted with fiction that it is a myth from the past. How can it be that so many, through jaws clenched with rage, follow a path that will destroy them before those they rage at?
The longing to bring the suffering home where their dignity will be restored and their suffering will end is painfully palpable. Where have our humanity, our humility, our voice our efficacy gone? Are the challenges of this time a universal consequence of surrendering to our collective lesser selves? "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The retched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" What do these words mean anymore? They once represented us, and now they are a bitter mockery of who we have become.
The crust of the Earth is very shallow and supports all of life. Earths' power rests below in the mantle and the core: the source of renewal and a reminder of our temporal place here. All will be recycled and renewed. As above, so below, the dinosaurs succumbed to rocks from outer space. Nature is in control.
In the meantime, how do we relieve suffering? I think we don't, I think that now we empathize with our suffering and the suffering of those who have blood. We feel the suffering of Tysons' pigs and chickens and the people who have suffered, shoulder to shoulder, cutting up the cloroxed remains of abused animals. We feel the suffering of the fast food workers who live, barely, paycheck to paycheck, newly unemployed waiting for government funding that has gone to the wealthy who provide the funds to elect our directors of the swamp. We feel the suffering of front line health care workers who trusted that the warnings from the last 15 years of a coming pandemic would, obviously, result in preparation. We suffer and experience the sharp edge of truth, cutting through our egos and righteousness that somehow we were immune to a disease that unpredictably slays us, irreverent to our sacrifices, ethics and morals but that reveals in stark contrast good from evil.