It’s not just the political headlines that get to me. (And to respectfully refute the comment from lost on my last post, I don’t skim them. That’s the problem. I actually read all the shit I link to.)
It’s about the kids.
It’s not only in Iraq.
It’s in Kenya.
It’s in Angola.
It happened in Romania.
It happened in Britain.
It happened to a good friend of mine and she lived. A lot of kids don’t.
What kind of madness could take over a person and allow them to hurt a child? I look at my daughter and I see the purest love in her, the most amazing innocence and passion and growing intelligence, and I see the light of God shining out from her sea-blue eyes. Yeah, there are times when she does act as if the devil’s gotten into her, and there are times when I act as if the devil’s gotten into me. But it passes, thankfully, and we return to the connection we share, where she gives me kisses to cheer me up after Finding Neverland and I hold her and rock her when the thunder rumbles in the sky.
When I hear of the death of a child, for whatever reason, I grieve for the parents and the friends of that child. I can imagine the pain – huge, monstrous and all-consuming. I’m not sure I could find the other side of it, and I pray that I won’t ever have to try.
When I hear that a child has died by the hand of another human being, I grieve for the child, who was forced to experience horrible pain and suffering without the means to understand or process it. I grieve for the parents and the friends of that child – they must find a way to deal with their rage and thirst for retribution, on top of the shattering loss of their baby. And especially I grieve for the kids who survive, and those who are left behind.
I grieve for the person who committed the act itself. I grieve for their pathological lack of love and connection. I grieve for their blindness to the value of a child in and of himself, regardless of his future, his potential for growth. I grieve for their immersion in any kind of circumstances that would perpetuate or allow neglect, child abuse and infanticide – whether it’s hunger of the body or hunger of the soul, whether it’s sheer stupidity or weakness or the continuance of their own pain as victims of violence and abuse. I grieve because the cycle continues, and they will be the victims of loss the next time around. I grieve because compassion, the diamond in each of our rough souls, is lost to them, and I grieve because they are, except perhaps in very rare cases, so far beyond the hope of redemption.
I grieve for myself, that I must witness it indirectly, without the means to stop it from happening again. I grieve for my daughter and myself, that through my own selfish madness, I conspired to leave my child to grow up motherless in such a world.
When I was in my last trimester of pregnancy with Duckie, I ran across a scent from Bath and Body Works that I fell in love with – doesn’t matter the exact scent, but I’m still using it to this day. I had tried it as a lotion, rubbing it on my hands and then covering my face with them, inhaling deeply. I’m sure my blood pressure dropped. I know the tension in my shoulders eased up a bit. Mostly, though, I felt as if my heart had been given a huge, invisible hug by the Mother of all Mothers, and I felt that even if I wasn’t always strong enough to manage things, it didn’t make me less of a person, and somehow things would still turn out ok.
So I fantasize about this gigantic flower coming to earth from outer space, orbiting the planet, a benign purple tiger lily. Every day it rains down the smell of the Mother, and every day, people are comforted by it, even if only for a few seconds before they die. Children and caregivers and artists and doctors and soliders, politicians and despots and upper management – everyone gets this essential comfort for a little while, whether they got it from their own mothers or not, whether anyone thinks they deserve it or not.
Of course, it would also help if this flower could rain down food and water and mosquito netting and vaccinations – but maybe if everyone got this essential blessing every day, we would do a better job of taking care of each other.
Or maybe the US or Chinese military would nuke the Blessing Blossom out of orbit. Your guess.