Can we learn something new?


Morning fog lifts under the warming touch of the sun. Photo: Mary Sharon Moore, 2010


Approx. read time: 2:30 min

Winter Solstice marks the longest night of the year. I feel exhausted.

Exhausted from diminished daylight, sure. 

But more, I feel exhausted from the endless news of traumas I do not personally endure.

I sense our world has been traveling, like those fleeing for their lives, in a long, long night of darkness.

Widespread disease grinds on. Intractable poverty grinds on. Aimless, endless war grinds on. Our world groans with the exhaustion of late-stage civilization. 

We seem to have forgotten what it means to be human and fully alive, to be society and fully alive. To be more than consumers, accumulators, walking pods of anxiety, subjects of pervasive unseen forces that keep us faceless, nameless, invisible, wanting.

Disease, poverty, and war are nothing new. And we seem to learn nothing new from the cycles of experience.

So I stop and ask myself: What would be the “something new” that I might learn? That you and I might learn together? 

What is hidden in plain sight that we are at the threshold of discovering, whether we think we need that discovery or not? 

What invitation to a better humanity awaits us, and those whose lives we touch?

Solutions to disease, poverty, and war are not beyond reach! Our forebears rallied their wits and imagination, their resources and their will, in their own seasons of exhaustion.

But when solutions require me personally to stretch, change, and contribute something to the solution—well, maybe, not so much. 

So, what I want to learn, with all my heart, is how to live nonviolently. I want to learn how to engage wholeheartedly, in my interior world and in the world I touch, with no trace of violence, and with rich traces of peace. Resurrection peace, the peace which this exhausted world cannot give.

I want to learn this lesson with all my heart. I want to tame the wild inner forces of violence, and harness the power of lively and life-giving peace.

I want to learn something new. I resolve to not passively drag through another year of widespread, intractable, aimless, endless human suffering. 

Life is too short, the invitations too large. And the magnitude of all that’s at stake is too pressing.

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Be well. Live in peace. Await the Light. Love one another.

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