Through the Glass Backwards: Without words, without shutting down, without turning away

Join me for my weekly practice, Through the Glass Backwards. The title of this series came from my former commute into work, when I took the light rail downtown. Even though I tend to get motion sick easily, I usually ended up facing backwards, watching as  the city slipped by. Now that I work from home, these vignettes will be a 200 word glimpse of things I see and I am fortunate enough to see, but not necessarily from the light rail window.


I’ve spent more than half of my life gathering words in notebooks, sharing them on blogs and websites.

And yet, looking through screens of televisions and computers leaves me speechless. Leaves me gasping for air.

We try to make sense of this world, of actions of others, and we come up short.

We grab at tendrils, smoke from the incense offerings burning on the shrine. We grab at the grains of sand running through the hourglass. We reach for something to hang on to, because we feel like we are free falling through air full of dangerous things and we don’t know what to do or say.

There are no words. There are no rationalizations. We hope understanding would cease acts of violence, loss, and horror that enter our communities without our knowledge or consent.

Yet, I find my heart closing against the us and them, dividing further into smaller groups, when what I need most right now is to pull people in, close. Reminders to us all that we are a community and we have forgotten to recognize the truth of each other.

How to move forward without shutting down completely? How to sit with pain without moving away?

In memory of those lost and affected by violence. Most recently, in memory of those from Newtown, Connecticut.


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