Ridiculous Painful Gratitude
I was walking on the sidewalk the other night. There was a woman approaching, with a dog. I made a long arc into the street to give her at least six feet of space.
An oncoming car hesitated about three or four car lengths in front of me, giving me plenty of time and an enormous amount of space to complete my arc and return to the sidewalk.
I was ridiculously overcome with gratitude for everyone’s courtesy. My own, the car driver’s … Everyone, it seems, is being so considerate to strangers these days when we’re out in public. It both moves me and pains my heart somehow.
Standing on the Shoulders of Violence
I’m not sure what the pain is all about really. Maybe it’s the pervasive, background awareness of how corrupted are the foundations of our lives: the extracted fossil fuels that make the car run, the denuded nature that was sacrificed for the street and sidewalk, the labor I’ll never understand that went into creating the warm jacket I wore on that 38-degree evening.
I’m reminded lately by someone close to me that we are living on historically stolen land.
Every creature comfort we enjoy today was built on a legacy of violence, somewhere in the past. How does that violence live in us now?
I want to end the violence.
I’ll start by pardoning myself.
Happy Thanksgiving weekend! Gobble gobble!