cave open to stars

Grief and Hope

by Karen MacDonald

When I wrote my last blog entry a few months ago, I was “speechless.”  So many of us were reeling from the national election results.  We were heartbroken, appalled, angry.  We were/are grieving.

I have also known deep, gut-wrenching personal grief in my life with the disruption of a cherished relationship.  Much of my speech then was moaning and sobbing.  Thank Goodness, that dark period turned out to be a womb and not only a tomb.  While I looked over the brink into utter despair and lifelessness, I emerged with a spiritual awakening into the indescribable gift of Life.  

Valerie Kaur has prompted us to consider “…what if this darkness isn’t the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb?  What if America is not dead but a country waiting to be born?”   To paraphrase her image, this chaotic, life-threatening period in our communal life could be a tomb and a womb—grief and hope.

The grief may include the death of optimism that missed the depth of fear and pain that always lurks below the surface of what appears to be social progress, that always paints the lives of those suppressed/oppressed, that always tinges the views of those afraid of losing position.

The hope is that we have today—Life has graced us with sun, Earth, breath once again.  We get to live, we are indeed from and of Life itself.  Regardless of how things turn out, the hope is in this question, “How do I want to express Life today?” —and in how we try to show our answer.