We were up at 6am, in rural Turlock, California, ready to cheer on a field full of 10-year olds competing in their early morning State Cup Quarterfinal.
It was 34 degrees outside -- not so impressive if you're playing winter soccer in Chicago, or New York, or Kansas, but pretty freakin' cold if you happen to be 10-year old California girls and their parents.
The grass crunched beneath our feet. We blew frosty smoke rings from our mouths. We stomped our feet and talked about how it was damn cold but WOW it could be even colder, and at least the sun was out.
We cheered on our girls, hoping to will them to victory with our support and encouragement. And then, we felt heartsick and helpless as we watched them go down in defeat. We fretted to each other that they deserved this win, that the score didn't tell the real story.
We joked "At least we'll get our Sunday back," since by midway through the second half it was clear that we weren't returning for a …
Here is an unspeakable secret: paradise is all around us and we do not understand. It is wide open. The sword is taken away, but we do not know it. I am present without knowing it at all, in this unspeakable paradise, and I behold this secret, this wide open secret which is there for everyone, free.
– Thomas Merton
Thank you, Thomas Merton, for your words, and thank you to my friend Linda for sharing them on Facebook this morning to usher in 2017.
Perhaps this is what all angst and anxiety stem from: we are present in unspeakable paradise without knowing it, even while we search for it high and low, with desperation and urgency. We are searching for that paradise with every resolution, every firm decision to be better, do better, love better. Paradise is all around us: why don't we see it? Why aren't we aware of every moment we are living in it? Why don't we know it?
That existential crisis will be even more palpable in this, our beloved country, as we watch Donald J. T…
Charlottesville is consuming me. I admit to being obsessed with all the coverage and interviews. It cannot be good for me to watch too much CNN and listen to too many talking heads, but I cannot look away. I am fascinated by how human beings can grow such hate in their hearts and minds, hate that leads them to see others as less than human. It’s a specific kind of selfishness that is truly terrifying. It’s fear. It has always been fear and it will always be fear.
Look into your own family, look at the people you love. Why do they lash out, why do they do hurtful things, even to people they love? Fear.
I look at my own children, who I know are good and kind people, and I’m shocked multiple times a week at how vicious they can be with each other, how immediately defensive they are when they feel threatened and fearful. If they are about to get in trouble, if they know they did something hurtful, if they think they are about to get steamrolled -- they are virulently defensive. …