You look at the newspaper and it's heartbreaking—ranging from difficult to impossible—all around, in country after country.
And you sit with your boy as he struggles through pain and you feel it as though it's your pain.
And you're tired and you'd like life to be simple, but it isn't.
And the laundry pile is huge.
I was sitting on the edge of my bed this morning, thinking, "Today isn't going to be easy."
Once upon a time, I would lie down on days like these, and let the hard take over.
I looked at the sky and the trees and heard the birds. Sky was a cloudless blue. Trees were green and wild. Birds were talking, telling each other stories.
And I got up.
Today I got up and took some laundry downstairs and that was a small, good thing.
Today, my son, who just got braces yesterday morning and was up all night in pain, just put on some Miles Davis. I'm writing to the music that makes my son happy.
Today I read a blog post where the person suggested we focus on being kind. Being patient. Breathing deeply. Yes, I thought.
I've had some strange times this week, interacting and, for the first time, debating/respectfully disagreeing with people online. I am usually very agreeable on social media, so this felt new for me: kind of fiery and peaceful at the same time. The people I have "debated" with I respect hugely, and I have not wanted to seem argumentative. But I have wanted to share an alternative view: my view, my truth.
I am finding that I'd like to speak, and speak, and speak my truth more. And, of course, let people speak theirs in turn.
Already I write about animal suffering a little on this blog, but not often. I "like" things that relate to animal rights on Facebook, and every now and then, I share information I feel is important to read. But there are more things I care about. Things I am quiet about because I don't want to push an "agenda" or have this blog become political or be about "causes." But what I care about, and the change I want to see in the world, really matters to me. People are making huge changes happen in the world by speaking out. Why don't I, more?
For some reason I've been thinking about Gandhi a lot recently. What would he do? What would he say in the face of the NRA's agenda, and bombings in the US and drone attacks in Pakistan, in the face of factory farming, hunting in National Parks, of people living lives of judgement and hate… all things I find difficult to bear?
I believe he would speak, and speak, and speak, his truth.
He would BE the change he wished to see in the world.
So this is the change I wish to see in the world. The change I try to live daily:
People putting kindness and compassion above all.
People living in, and accepting, equality.
People prioritising peace, and the lives of others, over "centuries-old rights" and "this is how things have always been."
People seeking non-violent solutions for conflict.
People protecting the voiceless.
It's not how a lot of the world is right now, but I keep hoping. And getting up in spite of things. I keep choosing kindness, compassion, positivity. And writing my truth.
Here I sit, on this day that's turning out to be not so hard after all…with a cat on my lap, listening to jazz. It's just started to rain and I can hear it pick-pocking the verandah roof outside.
I will write words I care about. I will feel sadness and confusion for the people of Boston. I will feel joy that marriage equality has been recognised in New Zealand. I will mourn another bombing in Iraq in the days leading up to their election. I will be baffled and deeply disappointed by the Senate choosing not to change gun laws in the US. I will march against live export when Animals Australia brings the rally to the city of Sydney. I will hug my children.
I will get up in a minute and put the laundry on. Give my son some more pain relief. Make him some more soup. Listen to the rain.
And send, as always, love and peace, to all.
People in the public gallery of the New Zealand Parliament,
singing the Maori love song "Pokarekare Ana"
moments after same-sex marriage legislation was passed.