Litany: Now What?

12799389_10204334715808288_7825341769730865971_n by Lindsey Kustusch
Art by Lindsay Kutstuch

I admit it is one of those down-in-the-dumps days.

If I let myself cry, I fear I’ll never stop.

Health stuff: a suspicious sighting on my mammogram, in both breasts. The need to have my weeping uterus scraped and checked for cancer. Finding myself heading in and out of doctor’s offices. Answering phone call after phone call, alerting me to this or that problem.

Politics: The lack of civility. Our f*cking fake ‘democracy’. The abysmal treatment of women. Rampant military growth. Stagnant policies, ugly stances, and no options that don’t make me recoil in disgust. Why bother and what the f*ck?

Here. Choose between this total shit sandwich or this one. This one’s on a bagel. Yum.

The Environment: The bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef. 93% of it is already gone. Dozens of dolphins and whales, along with millions of squid and sardines washing ashore in Chile, dead. All the ways in which we’ve plundered and ruined this planet.

We’ve forgotten to be stewards.

We’ve forgotten to be kind.

We’ve forgotten we’re in this mess together.

I don’t relate – at all – to most of the human race.

Who are these people? What kind of parents raise children who use their phones to film an assault in a high school bathroom, rather than run for help? What kind of people film other students murdering someone over a boy?

How can I find some light in this horrifying onslaught of awful?

I can usually pick myself up, dust myself off, and put my mind right so I can continue to move forward; however, today I’m completely bereft.

Today, I feel like everything is lost.

Everything is dark.

Everything is hopeless.

And, of course, that is not true.

I am tired. I am weary.

I’ve lost the juice for this fight, and I must retreat to regain my vision.

I suppose that is the lesson.

We cannot push ahead, ride the wave, or stab our flag into the summit forever.

Sometimes, we need to sit down and listen to our breath.

Sometimes, we need to unplug from the constant chatter, the vitriol, the name calling, and the stupidity we find ourselves encountering and enduring.

I long for nothing but the sound of my breath. In and out. In and out.

I long to go looking for the pieces of myself I’ve lost.

Are there shards and bits of me strewn along the path I’ve taken? Probably. Do I need those things to feel whole?


So, I go to the back yard and I watch an ant carry a heavy burden from one flagstone to the next. I listen to birdsong and watch the leaves – so fragile and light green – reappear, almost before my eyes.

I hear the sound of a raven in a treetop nearby.

I remember myself. I remember that this, too, shall pass.

I feel flecks of sunlight on my skin. I remember the color of your eyes. I remember how you looked right through me the last time we spoke. I remember the sting of loss and the joy of redemption.

This, too, shall pass.

My heart is still pushing blood through my veins. I can feel the bluster of the wind as it blows in from the Jemez Mountains.

I am strong enough for even this.


© 2016  Shavawn M. Berry All rights reserved

Feel free to share this post with others, as long as you include the copyright information and keep the whole posting intact. If you like this piece please share it with others. You can like me on Facebook  or Twitter to see more of my writing and my spiritual journey on my website  at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s