Monday, December 17, 2012


When did you struggle?

Look: if I'm honest, I do not know much of struggle. There are people close around me who are ill, who are dying, who are grieving, who are falling into poverty. People I love are estranged from their families, have been betrayed by those closest to them. There are people near and far who don't have a home, or clean water, or access to education. Girls are forbidden from reading, women are bought and sold, my friends are legally forbidden from enjoying basic rights.

There have been things this year that were hard, yes. I wrote a book(let), and I struggled to finish it. I had a few minor health things that caused some emotional trauma. I learned to love a bunch of kids, and struggled to love the other kids who (inevitably) hurt them. I have struggled to care about some of the things my job requires me to care about.

But overall, I know very little of what it is to struggle. The line here of guilt and inaction is perilously close - and that is not what I want to say. I am trying - struggling - almost every day, to pull my heart open, again, and hear and share the real struggle of these beloved people who are all around me. I don't know if that's enough. My own strength is pretty limited - I can only force my heart's doors so wide - and there are days when I fail miserably, let those heavy panels slam shut, and curl up in mountains of comfort and chocolate and fiction. I'm aiming for fewer of those days, and more of these.

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