If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy, don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty of lives and whole towns destroyed or about to be. We are not wise, and not very often kind. And much can never be redeemed. Still, life has some possibility left. Perhaps this is its way of fighting back, that sometimes something happens better than all the riches or power in the world. It could be anything, but very likely you notice it in the instant when love begins. Anyway, that’s often the case. Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb. —Mary Oliver, from Swan: Poems and Prose Poems
Early this morning I was beside a local pond, spotting my first Baltimore orioles and yellow warblers of spring, and trying to count a restless flock of cedar waxwings.
A little while ago I checked back in with the New York Times, and now I am trembling and sick with horror.
How are we to live in this world
where orioles sing and men kill for no purpose, dragging civilians from their homes and shooting them on their front walks
Some days I think I have an answer, but right now
I have nothing but an ocean of sadness
and the memory of orange and black
under a cloudy sky