Two conversations from this past Friday keep bouncing around in my head.
I’m at my semi-annual dental checkup. My hygienist Sherry, usually bubbly as well as competent, looks distressed. She pulls out the latest photos of her grandkids (this is a usual part of my visit).
Sherry to me:
I just don’t know what to do. I’m not a red or blue person, not right or left, just kind of always looking for the best in people but things are so nuts now. I feel like I’m in a scary science fiction movie – but it’s not a movie. It’s real. And it keeps getting worse all the time. I don’t know what to tell my kids…they’re so scared for their kids.
Millie, am I crazy?
I’m on the phone with my 99-year-old colleague Al who is working with me to set up a tree-planting for next week’s International Day of Peace.
Me to Al:
I don’t get it! Right after we pull out of Afghanistan and are in the midst of a world health crisis, our reps vote to spend my tax money on – God forbid –an even-more-powerful nuclear bomb. As if the ones we already have aren’t enough to destroy us all? This is lunacy. I feel helpless. How can I turn my country from its war/fear/”defense” economy to the reality that we are all one planet, all human beings, we’re all in danger?
I feel like throwing in the towel.
Back to Conversation # 1:
Me to Sherry:
Sherry, no, you’re not crazy. I’ll tell you the same thing I used to say to my therapy clients who were in incredibly difficult, oftentimes abusive, situations:
“You’re not crazy. The situation you are in is crazy…. Breathe… Believe that… Then take time to consider: What can you do to take care of yourself, and maybe the others around you, in this situation so that you are not harmed further? Then do it.”
99-year-old Al to me:
Yeah, Millie, I know what you mean about throwing in the towel. I’ve wanted to do that many a time. But you never know. Each little drop of water…whatever little we do…may one day fill a pail…and then, who knows…
So, back to the ceremony: have the folks at Southern Connecticut decided where to plant the tree?
I e-mailed Al and Sherry the photos that my husband took on our August backpack/hike in the Wind River Range in Wyoming.
The one above is of the mountains close to Gannett Peak and the Continental Divide.
This one is of the tiny glacial rivulets that are the source of the Green River, which