trying to remember

PHOTO: Forrest Elliott
PHOTO: Forrest Elliott

On Friday, I was still feeling a bit of post-Squam re-entry bobble-headedness so decided to indulge my inner procrastinator and share my reflections about our most recent gathering at the lake today, Monday.

And, the world turns on a dime.

No doubt, heading into the weekend I had some idea of the theme I was going to use as a thread through the myriad colors, conversations, classes and perspectives that add up to a Squam experience. I was so excited to share the joy and light and stories from those lovely five days.

As you can imagine, whatever I had in my head before Saturday night is gone.

My heart aches. My mind is dropped once again into the abyss.

My spirit wants OUT of this world — a world where horror and hate, violence and destruction, stupidity and ignorance are on a constant rotation through human experience. This territory isn’t new to me as there has never been a time in human history where hell on earth did not exist — a hell of our very own making. What’s different for me now are the resources of wisdom, love and faith– resources that I have access to, resources that help me continue through the madness.

PHOTOS: Forrest Elliott
PHOTOS: Forrest Elliott

On Saturday afternoon I was digging through my journals for a project I am working on. As is always the case, I have almost zero memory of anything I have scribbled down and so going back in is always filled with surprises.

That afternoon I was in such a light, happy place it was a shock to come across this passage from December:

over + over + over. Why is it so hard to be human?
What are we doing here? We are part of something larger
that cannot be seen or understood by us – for sure. And since
I believe that to be true- All I can do is continue to
try and live consciously

Not twelve hours later, more than 49 people were massacred as they danced and celebrated life. Their lives were destroyed and the lives of every person that knew and loved them have been shattered– and we haven’t even mentioned the 53 people who were were shot and wounded, still alive– their life, body, heart forever changed, or the hundreds who were terrorized and had to witness to the horror . . .

The ripples do not end. We are all connected.


Are we making progress? Any progress at all? Generation after generation. Century after century, collectively, are humans bringing more light to the madness? I don’t know. Today, it doesn’t feel that we are.

And yet, I know that love is the only power.

PHOTO: Forrest Elliott
PHOTO: Forrest Elliott

I reach out to the writings of Thich Nhat Hanh who held fast to the light of divine within each of us as the bombs of Vietnam war rained down all around him. I reach out and ground myself in his truth:


I sink back into the memories of what it means to be in a gathering of people who come together for the very purpose of opening their heart. I breathe into my life experience of what can happen when we work to clear our hearts of hatred, judgement, unkindness. I remember that we can never know why we have been charged to bring light through the darkness.


I know that I am grateful to have a sanctuary in this world where I can have my spirit strengthened through creativity, through friendship, through love — so that I can return to this world, more able to hold the light.



PHOTOS: Forrest Elliott
PHOTOS: Forrest Elliott

A place where there is room for all of us — where we nurture our shared struggles and find all we have in common; where people are celebrated for their unique gifts and preferences — where unicorns and rainbows help us to remember the best parts of being human.


bisous, Elizabeth

1 thought on “trying to remember”

  1. As always, so beautiful. My soul needed soothing today and so of course I’m going to wander here.

    Thank you for being a place of beauty and wisdom.


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