singing our way through sorrow, dancing after disaster

Yesterday morning, Kristina sat on the couch, curled up with her phone, checking out the news of the day.

The news of the day was not good.  At least, not in the media.

She was distraught, worried that the world is going to hell – not in a gentle handbasket, but in a rocket-launched tank of ugly.

With all the media attention on the ugly, on the pain, on the woe and strife, how could she think otherwise?

And yet she does.

She has such a big, tender heart.  And a brilliant, curious mind.  She cannot tolerate inequity.  And the world is FULL of inequity.

What to do?  How not to throw in the towel, turn a blind eye, and lose ourselves in Millionaire Matchmaker?

We need hope.

Even the most cynical among us needs hope.  Else how would we get out of bed in the morning?

The 24-hour news cycle doesn’t help; the satellite-available reports of events around the world give us unprecedented access to cultural information about others who share our humanity – yet this is not where our media focus lies.

The news cycle rarely dwells on good news.

Yet the good news must be there: all over the world there are mothers cherishing a new baby’s discovery of her toes; all over the world there are fathers drawing pictures with their kids; there are people singing their way through sorrow and dancing after disaster to affirm their survival; there are people learning from their elders and praying in the words of their faith.

We have so much in common.

To Kristina, I said, “Yes, the world is an unholy mess.  But there is also a lot of good – in people, in families, in businesses, in nature, in governments – it may be hard to see sometimes, because the bad news is yelling, and the good news seldom yells for attention.

We have to look for the good, celebrate it, shout it from the rooftops. Sometimes we have to make the good – and then be willing to ensure others notice.”

That may well be Kristina’s path – the making sure others notice part.  She is passionate about social justice causes and is a gifted writer and photographer. She calls us to look at the details of things – and they say God is in the details.

With an eye to the sacred – whether she calls it that or not – I have total faith she will make a difference, that she will make the world a better place.

Even in the private sector, she will push for holistic decision-making, for actions mindful of social justice issues and the environment.  She may have an uphill battle, and she will surely have other mornings when she is discouraged by the steady diet of crap issuing from the news cycles.

On those mornings, she can call me, and I will remind her of snowflakes and daffodils, blackberries and geoducks.  I will recall for her mud puddles and sidewalk chalk, birthday parties and sunset picnics.  We will talk about the good being fostered in the world by Kiva and The Girl Effect, the changes wrought by Invisible Children and Charity: Water.

I will tell Kristina that raising her has been the source of my greatest pride, that I trust her, that I believe in her, that I have her back, that I have enough hope for all of us.

She can dip her cup into that well any time.

This short combines stop motion video from the recent uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt with scenes and voice-over from Carl Sagan’s “Earth the Pale Blue Dot.”


  • What beautiful words. Kristina is fortunate to have a mother who will point her back to the good and the beautiful in the world.

    We all need that, for sure – and community is one of the greatest sources of beauty and good in this world, I’m convinced.

    • I agree, Katie. Community is a balm and a blessing, at any time, and especially when we are faced with tragedy and discord. Thank you for being here and sharing your beauty.

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