Today Has Been a Hard Day

Looking for Hope in Dreary Days

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Harsh combats will await us. But peace will return to this torn earth and to hearts tortured by hopes and memories. One cannot always live on murders and violence. Happiness and proper affection will have their time. But that peace will not find us forgetful. And for some among us, the faces of our brothers disfigured by bullets, the great virile brotherhood of recent years will never forsake us. May our dead comrades enjoy by themselves the peace that is promised us during this panting night, for they have already won it. Our fight will be theirs.

Albert Camus, The Liberation of Paris from Resistance, Rebellion, and Death

As someone that works in higher education, and believes in education as a means for personal growth, today has been a hard day.

Education is much like gardening. You plant seeds today so you can benefit months later.

As fascism tightens its grip. As unemployment rips people away from their means of surviving a voracious capitalistic system, today is hard.

This morning, I was excited to join a remote conference with many beloved friends and colleagues from the Samvera community.

Our first order of business was learning about the unexpected death of a community member. News of their death flooded me. Tears freely fell from my face. And then my internet cut out.

All a delicate reminder that beyond the death of a colleague, I am morning the death of what was, or more the shedding of that naive myopic perception. A death of my delusion.

I have no illusions that we can nor should return to what we had. But in that moment of learning of their death, then suffering a technical disconnection, I felt alone.

Bleak.

All further exaggerated by the heavy rainfall and heavy gray sunless skies.

Today is hard. And I only lost the internet for several hours and a colleague with whom I had a few dozen wonderful interactions.

Others have lost more. A parent. A spouse. A livelihood. A home.

For my deceased colleague’s family and friends, this sucks. It’s certainly been a far harder day for you. And I cannot fathom your loss. May you find space to grieve and connect.

These days, I know that many of us are grieving. At best, I hastily perform little mental funerals as my life shifts, sometimes from hour to hour. But without proper grieving, I’ve noticed my emotions are cut adrift.

The anguish of cumulative loss cuts deep. And my path forward seems murky. Heavy rain has soaked my present and future. And I know I’m not alone.

What of the trees I planted years ago? What will their harvest be? Will the seeds planted last month bear fruit? Yes.

But the weeds in our garden are pernicious, insidious, and actively working to choke off our future.

Our president and elected leaders don’t pause to acknowledge these losses. To acknowledge these moments of suffering. To extend even a pittance of empathy.

We the people, are abandoned to a cruel agenda of politick. To graft, corruption, and divisive rhetoric.

Yet my hope lies in each other. And holding each other accountable is crucial. I ask that we not fall victim to the fictional story of the “Lord of the Flies” but draw strength and inspiration from a real life event with a similar initial setup.

May you find connections to move through these desperate days.