The Times in Which We Live

Circumstances demand a certain way that events unfold, a concert in Las Vegas–hurricanes in Puerto Rico, Texas, and Florida. As I write this post, another hurricane forms in the Gulf of Mexico.

After a shooting, after a hurricane we open our hearts for those who died too soon and so needlessly, and as well, for those who live, having lost all they ever knew. This is their now–and ours.

One catastrophe after another sets a record for people dying, for utter destruction. There is no explaining away circumstances. We need to stop that. This is our moment, all of us are in it.

There is not a single person on this planet

who is living anywhere but in the moment.

It’s just not the moment we have in mind.

(Karen Maezen Miller)

So, we must be in that moment, doing our best with the circumstances we have.  That is how our past accumulates and our future arrives–“what matters is that you notice your life while you can still call it ’alive.’ That’s now” (Miller).

We face the circumstances as they are, without pulling on the past or grabbing for the future. We live, in every moment offering the best we are. That is why we are here–to honor life for everyone–especially those who no longer experience the “now.”

It is not easy nor is it meant to be. These are hard times, harder for some and impossible for too many. What to do, what to say or not to say.

Doing nothing is not an option; kindness always is, always. What else is there to know?

It is easy to tell myself I don’t have the words or a way of doing anything meaningful but how is that kind? I am alive, with plenty of food and shelter. I do not need for one thing.  And because I do not, it is mine to fight for those who do.

I feel an additional responsibility because it is my generation of some–not all–old, white men who are directly and indirectly responsible for people suffering and dying in this moment, this now.

It is not the time for me to be silent in my safety. I suspect my congressional representatives would that I were. Oh well.

We are led by a president who visits a devastated island and declares a catastrophic hurricane not so catastrophic because of sheer numbers, a low death count. It’s a miracle, he says.

These circumstances are of a fiscal nature–debt mainly–so he throws paper towels to people whose way of life was wiped away in a moment. That kind of miracle.

There is no way to change the moment once we are in it. Circumstances will out. It does no good to pull on the past or grab for the future. The miracle is that we live at all.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

One thought on “The Times in Which We Live

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  1. I love your post, but I’m saddened that you feel the need to add the sour notes at the end about “old white men.” Isn’t it enough to be kind? Wouldn’t it be better not to always call out someone’s race? What does that add? We are all human after all. I think this note just adds separation, something we don’t really need. Just my opinion as a human being.


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