What a week this has been: another mass shooting, more aggravations and inaction in Washington, D.C., a dear friend requires, receives and is recovering from serious surgery, another Valentine’s Day without a card from Fred. I did what I always do: I ate too much chocolate, I spent time with my beautiful baby granddaughters, I edited a book chapter for a friend, I knitted, I tried to pray and I read a lot.
This morning I picked up Anne Lamott’s Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair, a book she wrote after the shooting in Newton. Here’s what I will take with me today as I head out on errands:
“Every time we choose the good action or response, the decent, the valuable, it builds, incrementally, to renewal, resurrection, hope. The horror is real, and so you make casseroles for your neighbor, organize an overseas clothing drive, and do your laundry. You can also offer to do other people's laundry, if they have recently had any random babies or surgeries.
“We live stitch by stitch, when we’re lucky. If you fixate on the big picture, the whole shebang, the overview, you miss the stitching. And maybe the stitching is crude, or it is unraveling, but if it were precise, we’d pretend that life was just fine and running like a Swiss watch. . . .
“In the aftermath of loss, we do what we’ve always done, although we are changed, maybe more afraid. We do what we can, as well as we can.”