louvre under waterThe rain began in the night with a gentle patter; drip, dripping like a forgotten faucet. Paris is closed, cars washed from the streets and the Louvre floats in a rippling lake. In Texas, horses swim across roads and soldiers are tipped from their truck into the deluge. Dams burst and bridges close in Germany. Fans at rock concerts are sent to shelter. While in California they stand in their fields with mouths open to the sky. The dancers are tired. They’ve been dancing for months without rest. Never mind what the flames in the west cremate.

I might say it is all hopeless. I could stand with my arms wide and turn in a slow circle to show you what I’m trying to say. What am I trying to say? I’m trying to say that all is not lost. How can we lift the lid over the fire and the floods to find the gifts inside? If your furniture floats through your living room and your art warps in its frame where is the gift in it?

dry grasses

Here is where we stop. The mind has no place to hide its ideas. This is where all the roads converge.

But we are in the streets with our buckets and shovels. We are calling for action.

We are wailing at ground zero.

My son paddles his canoe upstream and lets it drift back. Because he trusts. He is right to trust.

ben canoe

Bundled in his car seat, the astrologer called him a fleet-winged messenger of the gods, and he watched her with calm golden eyes while I considered how his delicate fingers would touch the world. How would this tiny creature move into the world, how would he perceive it and how would the world receive him?

Now I know.

At two he would say, “I love my world. This is the best world.”

He greets the world with equanimity and the world sits back on its heels. He turns heads and takes no notice.

The world is not lost. It changes shape, makes decisions about itself, is wounded and heals in surprising ways.

Right now, I am in a bright room after a rain. The pond outside reflects the forest. A circle of women bend to their pages. Their pens create words, lines of ink like real live blood. They carve the shape of their wounds, call out laments, get drunk on beauty, tell their story – each with their own unique voice.

We are all wounded. We have all lost what is dear. And we all have the capacity to heal. Our wounds are what make us interesting. Our efforts to heal are what make story. Story is what brings us close.