Back in my first days of blogging as a twenty year old living in New Zealand, I used to read She’s a Flight Risk. (“On March 2, 2003 at 4:12 pm, I disappeared. My name is isabella v., but it’s not. I’m twentysomething and I am an international fugitive.”)
Indulging in stories of intrigue and covert happenings seemed a harmless pastime.
Now, I’m a thirty something mother of two, with the real world right outside my front door…and as stories of fascists, despots, and despair flicker on my phone screen, I can’t look away.
Listening to an interview with Sarah Kendzior and following Twitter threads has me feeling like I’ve fallen into another rabbit hole of a story (“This all sounds like a spy novel. I think it’s been hard for people to swallow that this really could be happening…”), but now it’s my nation at risk and the stakes are higher than high.
This was my prayer this morning, then I found a statue of St. Francis this afternoon in my clients' garden: Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life. -Saint Francis of Assisi (1181-1226 A.D.)
This November, I’ve been texting with brothers, messaging with friends, talking late into the night with Ted, trying to pick up on all the threads…
Wavering between caring and caring too much.
One afternoon, even after attempting to check out of present day politics for a little break, I still somehow circled back and within hours was reading about Russian defectors living in Oregon.
I don’t know how to reconcile all of the jammed up thoughts and memories right now. I don’t.
But I’m going to leave a few notes as breadcrumbs for myself (and tidbits maybe for you?), as reminders of how things felt in the November storm:
Reading about what You Can Do.
As a kid, Night Crossing gave me those first glimpses of a world with far more dangers and far less freedom than I ever knew in sleepy Oregon.
Just five years old, I was pinched right before an autumn performance of Handel’s Messiah by a mom who wanted to be sure I’d remember that very day the Berlin Wall fell: November 9, 1989.
Haunting, and a favorite for many years: The Lives of Others. I’m ready to watch slices again through fingers hovering over my eyes.
For now, this Advent playlist is keeping me going.
If we walk with the wise, we will grow wise.
There is no fear in love.
Perfect love casts out fear.
(1 John 4:18)