“We all collapse a little; may it be toward each other.” — Richard Kenney
I was going to blog this morning. Instead I went for a walk to look for God. I decided instead to run this excerpt from my new book.
Every time there’s a new mass shooting, I want to run to the bathroom, to vomit, to beat my fists against something hard and unyielding.
How could my country, the one I pledged allegiance to every morning for six years of grade school, have come to this?
Even though there is life to be lived today—this book to write, cookies to order for my finals-taking daughter—I feel drawn to these tragedies. I’m temped to sit comatose by the television set, watch the horror, and shake my head.
Yet, the squirrels still scamper up the tree to their nests, dutifully gathering acorns for the coming winter. They gather as loud humans barge in and out the door that’s only feet from their measly food supply. They gather even though a huge storm last year sent their nest crashing to the ground below. They gather even though death is imminent and life can be cruel.
A part of me wants to hide, to take my daughter and flee to New Zealand, where her dad owns a winery and, presumably, a more peaceful existence.
But it’s not a time to run away or to sit numb, helplessly devouring all the details.
It’s a time to act, a time to create. A time for making peace out of chaos, a time for spinning love out of the threads of incomprehension.
It’s easy for me to think, How can I, one insignificant person from Kansas, stop a groundswell?
But that’s me forgetting who I am.
I am a creator, made in the image and likeness of the Great Creator.
And I am not insignificant.
If nothing else, I can write about what these massacres mean to me. I know nothing about Sandy Hook, really. Other than a short stint at a breathing program in nearby Washington, Connecticut, I have no real ties to this little town.
Yet, the story is also about me. It’s about my anger, the many times I wanted revenge when someone rejected me. It’s about the times I lashed out when someone said good-bye or you’re not what I’m looking for.
It’s about the unhealed places in all our hearts, those wounds that make us want to hit someone back.
Why do we want to strike out? Because we feel powerless. Because we have forgotten who we are. We have forgotten that the life force of the Creator thrums through our very veins.
It’s easy to forget in this culture of convenience. No longer do we make our own bread, sing our own songs, dance our own jigs. No longer do we create much of anything. Too often we even forget that we can. The very thing that joins us to our Creator lies dormant.
And in this forgetting, we lose our footing. Picasso said that when he realized painting was a way to give form to his terrors and his desires, he knew he had found his way.
The boy who killed at Sandy Hook had not yet found his way. He conned himself into believing he was insignificant. He didn’t know that the life force of the entire universe pulsed through his body. He hadn’t yet come to appreciate the sacredness of each moment.
He didn’t know he could have screamed his rage and rejection into a song. He
didn’t know he could have danced his anger into a profound acceptance.
If only he had known.
It’s too late for him. But it’s not too late for us, all just as guilty of anger and rage as the killers we point fingers at.
You are powerful. You can create the answers to the horrors that confront our country, those things that make us want to throw up our hands, flee to foreign countries.
Inside you is a stage play that will inspire someone to forgive. Inside you is a painting or a story that can turn fear into hope, horror into peace. Even if it’s peace in one person’s heart, it is enough.
As Henry Miller once asked, “Where in this broad land is the holy of holies hidden?”
It’s in the squirrels still gathering their acorns. It’s in you.
Pam Grout is the author of 19 books including E-Squared: 9 Do-it-Yourself Energy Experiments that Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality and the just-released, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.
Thank you, Pam. We, all of us, needed your words this morning.
As do I!
Here’s another way of dealing with negative events and the negative thoughts that invariably accompany them. No Separation – https://medium.com/geezer-speaks/no-separation-i-am-yours-you-are-mine-b3a889b4349
If this works for you, embrace it. If not, toss it.
Thank you Pam.
Omg Pam. I am mind blown. We forget who we are. I saw the cannibal couple news on tv by mistake as I don’t watch news anymore and they admitted to eating 30 humans. I felt sick to my stomach. I wanted to throw up and wonder why god created us. Why ? What am I doing about it? Nothing. What is the point of feeling disgust, anger and hatred? What am I going to do about this? I felt like we humans should not deserve to live. A mass extinction of the human race is what I wished for.
‘But even though a tornado took down my tree and destroyed everything I had, I will continue to collect acorn and find food for the next winter that is coming’ If a squirrel can think that, I think I can push myself to continue to keep going.
Your post made a big difference to me today. I always read them, smile and move on. This time the impact was significant.
Thank you Pam, for being you. & thank you for not depriving us, of your creativity.
Thanks for these kind words. I’m so grateful.
Indeed. Thank you for the reminder.
You’re very welcome!
THANK YOU!! This was a lovely post today and just what the word needs! Bless you!
Bless us every one!
I had just read this chapter, two nights ago. Who knew how close another tragedy would be? Peace and love to all victims and their families. Hopefully the creative spirit will take hold and provide some solutions to all these events. I will do my part. Thank you Pam, as always, for some light.
We are all light. I was so happy to hear India Arie’s beautiful song, I am Light, yesterday.
Well-said, Pam, and beautiful too. Thank you.
Sending love to you and Stan, my friend!
Beautiful post, Pam. Thanks for sharing this with us.
Thanks, Craig. I was so happy to hear your good news the other day. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Hearing of this latest shooting, and on top of everything else that’s been happening in this country since January 20th, I just lost it. I feel as though I’m being slowly driven insane. And I thought, “where can I find some comfort?” and in pops your post. Thank you, Pam, for being there for us all, with words of comfort, wisdom and light. After reading this post I calmed right down and began to think of the ways that I might make a difference. I can’t say thank you enough,
I’m so happy you’re using your gifts ( we all have so many) to change the frequency on the planet.
Thank you for this. Indeed I feel like just giving up, giving in to this evil. All feels evil this morning. We need its opposite so much.
It’s opposite is Truth. We’re seeing a hologram of our innermost fears shown so we can heal them.
Wow Pam, your comment on Beth’s message sums up your post beautifully. I’m in Australia (& I rarely listen to or watch the news) so I hadn’t heard about this sad event, but your post is a powerful message for all of us and is appropriate for any act of violence anywhere in our world. Thankyou.
Exquisite Pam. And as always, so very relevant. THANK YOU!
Hi there, Lori! We miss you in Lawrence!
Hello all you lovely folks! One resource we have for helping to prevent gun violence is sandyhookpromise.org. Organized by families of Sandy Hook victims, they are doing all sorts of good things to this end. Clearly, we need all sorts of CREATIVE solutions. They have some. Please check them out.
Thank you, Pamela, for this information!
Thank you, my friend, for posting this here. I so appreciate you.
Thank you, Pam, for the speed of your much needed words this morning. Thank you for reminding us of the LOVE that we each hold within us and which we are called to share greatly ALWAYS. May peace grow ever stronger and abound.
Yes, may peace grow ever stronger. I love that phrase!
I love your posts and boy did I need to read it today! More and more lately, I feel disgust with the human race and just want to pull away from participation in any group. Your post reminded me to look for the sacred in each person and also in each day. Thanks Pam!
That’s so beautiful. There is sacred in every person. Every single person.
Fabulous…like you! 💞💜
Sent from my iPhone
Like all of us. We can come together, give of our gifts and change the wavering frequency to love, only love.
Fabulous..just like you!!💞💙
Gorgeous post! We all have the likeness of G-d within us as we are all created in His image. It behooves us to bring forth our gifts, strengths, and goodness that is within all.
Sometimes it takes someone else to show us our way and shine a light on our good stuff.
We all need to be ‘encouragers’ to one another and help light each other’s path.
Yes, I hereby commit to being an encourager to everyone I can. Thank you for this beautiful intention.
I love your words! Shine a light on our good stuff! This is what makes life exciting! Thank you 😊
Wow, this is incredibly profound writing…what a mind!
Sent from my iPad
Thanks, Grace. I’m just trying to be a satellite dish for the bigger thing.
Thank you. You did what I did. I used what I know helps me in my anger. I walked. I exercised. I released the stress of something I have no control over. I took charge of the ME that woke up alive.
Thank you once again, Pam, for offering a greater perspective amidst the anguish of these kind of events. As you point out the most powerful thing we can do is anchor ourselves in the peace that is the true “us”. I was being sucked down the news rabbit hole until I read your post. Thank you again.
I’ve been avoiding the news all day, in fact the only reason I know of this tragedy is from a friend. Yours is the first thing I’ve read on this topic and it is absolutely perfect. Thanks for putting the right perspective on this. You have inspired me to go outside and revel in the good we have all helped to create.
Moved me to tears! Well said
So much for speaking this truth and reminding us of who we truly are
Thank you Pam, for helping us all connect and not feel alone and continue to notice the beauty that surrounds us, even with the horror.
Just what I needed to hear…
“It’s easy to forget in this culture of convenience. No longer do we make our own bread, sing our own songs, dance our own jigs. No longer do we create much of anything. Too often we even forget that we can. The very thing that joins us to our Creator lies dormant.”
Yes, too often we FORGET!!
Thank you sincerely for saying things the way you do. I think it too, but I cannot say it like you do. So, thank you for saying it for me. I join my voice to yours…
Just as i sat at my desk questioning this popped up – the universe delivers – Thank you for such beautiful and calming words. Sending you love xx
I took your advice, Pam. Boot Scootin’ Boogie Down Hell’s Highway — A Musical Memorial
Pam .. You manage to find us and reach out in rather simple but profound messages.. So NEEDED.. thank you.
This says it all Pam! Beautiful! I have no words ❤️
This morning, while taking my bath I reached out and grabbed E Squared. It’s so dog eared and crinkled. I was immediately….reminded. Everything shifts when I read just a small section. Then today, much later I am listening and reading and getting all worked up over gun control. I force myself away from the social media threads and see this blog of yours in my inbox. And again. That immediate feeling that spreads throughout my body. Instant quiet, peace, and a sort of serenity. I am so grateful. Thank you Pam.
Beautiful. Such amazing comparisons with animals in nature. Love you Pam and sending prayers to your town and it’s recent tragedy. I believe in signs and your post came to me at 11:11…..✌
I love the symbology to be seen in this comment alone: “It’s time to spin Love out of the threads of Chaos”….. (my capitalizations here)…written by Pam Grout. I see Rapunzel spinning Gold and it cascades down and out the castle window. Man. Thank you for bringing the squirrels back into my life. I truly do appreciate all you do and write and share, on your blog and elsewhere.
Now that is some gorgeous writing. Thank you
This was a VERY powerful post, Pam. I wish I had seen it sooner. I have a lot of those same thoughts and my daughter is indeed, trying to find a way to move to New Zealand. Odd bit of synchronicity here. To expand her bubble and see how others live and cope with the insanity that is in our world. Your words were spot on. I can’t fix it either, just spread love where ever I go on a daily basis. Thanks for this.