The World Is Perfect Today

I do not see myself as a politically inclined person. I rarely follow the news. As the name of my website and of my business suggests, I believe very deeply that the world will be saved by us creating little corners of joy, ever expanding circles. Sometimes, however, it is hard to keep sight of our own little corner of joy. The contrast between it and what is happening in the world is too great. I wrote the following in an attempt to express and relieve my confusion about what is happening in the world today.

 

The World Is Perfect Today

The world is perfect today, have you noticed?
The sun is shining in a sky so blue,
An infinite expanse of light,
Painting the world in gemstones:
Green leaves glittering like emeralds;
Ripe blackberries, a cascade of black diamonds on the vine;
The earth, an inviting, golden mother, brilliantly reliable.

The world is perfect today, have you noticed?
Calm, quiet, peaceful, true.
Birds on the trees sing a song of joy;
A coyote steals through the brush, its ears erect, listening;
Deer in the meadow raise their heads, but all is well;
The mountain lion is satiated, resting in the shade.
The world is perfect today.

The world is perfect today, have you noticed?
The wind pulses through the trees on its way to the ocean,
The clouds meander across the sky in its wake, unconcerned.
My chimes, hanging from the rafter, ring lazily.
A white dog sleeps on the sofa, his eyes closed in a trust so complete;
And I? I sit here today with my heart dripping blood,
For this bewildering world that is so perfect and so mad.

A man had died and was buried today.
More than one man.
This man had parents, children, a wife,
People who loved him, with whom he had dreams and hopes entwined,
This man had died and was buried today,
And yet the world continues as is.
It is still a perfect world today, as perfect as yesterday and the day before,
As perfect as tomorrow will be.

The sun will shine on his grave, and birds will sing from the trees nearby;
Clouds will meander in the blue sky;
And the seasons will change across the movie that is no longer his life.
And in case you haven’t noticed,
I am sad.
And mad.
And oh, so very confused
About why
What made it ok for this man to have to die?

Do you believe a man with a different color skin than you is still a man?
What about a man of a different religion?
What about a woman?
What if you really hate this man?
What if this man is a killer?
Is a soldier a man?
Is his enemy a man?
Who deserves to live, and who gets to decide
If the person who died is a human.
Who gets to decide for whom we grieve
When a man from one side
And a man from the other
Both
Die.

A man died and was buried today.
He left behind him a wife, a baby and an unborn child, still in the belly,
And for some reason my tolerance for this killing expired.
Has it ever not expired?
Out there in the war zone, there is so much hate
And not just hate of the Other.
You (yes, you) send soldiers to die.
Do you feel it is justified because they are soldiers?
It is good — don’t you know? — to die for one’s country.
There is bravery at stake,
Decorations awarded.
Defending the innocent.
Draped in a flag, the grave covered with flowers,
Forever be remembered.
A hero who never grows old, who will never again hug and be hugged
Who will never see his wife or his children grow old.
Do you send these soldiers to fight
Because you hate yourself
Or what you look at as the Other?

A man had died and was buried today,
Leaving behind a wife, a baby, and an unborn child, still in the belly.
Two children will grow up without their father
And try as I might, I cannot for my life figure out why
The world is still so perfect today
The sun is still shining
My outrage, choked inside of me
The guilt
So helpless
So powerless
Cannot change the facts, what has happened.
What still happens.

A man had died and was buried today
In our perfect, wonderfully bewildering world.
Rockets are buzzing
People are shooting each other.
Hatred is curling its tendrils
Through smoke-filled streets
Burning tanks and houses.

The world is perfect today
The sun is brilliantly shining
The earth opened up its belly and accepted
Yet more dead
Recycling their bodies.

The world is perfect today
The birds singing joy, free from sorrow
And I, I am sorry for the loss
Not only of one man, or twenty five
Not only of those of my own nationality.

The world is perfect today
Boiling with hatred
And I am sorting through the perfect rubble
Trying to find rhyme and reason
In all this wonderful sunshine.

The world is perfect today, did you notice?
It is as it is.
Hunger, war, rape, murder.
A flutter of color on a butterfly’s wing.
And above all, the sun, cheerfully shining.

Makes me wonder:
In that tunnel of light
Do you think the dead,
From our side and from theirs,
Are still fighting?

 

Prayer:

May the people of both sides in this conflict find in themselves the possibility of peace. May the dead rest in peace, and their families find in themselves the strength to continue and the ability to find joy in this world despite their pain. May they be able to grieve fully, for as long as they need, and may they be surrounded by love, the love of the universe, and the love of each other, and the love of the departed one, and all the support that they need.

May you all be happy once more. May you be free from pain. May you feel loved. May you know that you are forever kept in the heart of the world, and in my heart, cherished and loved. May we all be an instrument of love and peace in this world.

Amen.

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Sigal Tzoore (650) 815-5109