Posted by: Banta | November 15, 2015

When the world aches

In the wake of terrible atrocities in Paris, Beirut, Kenya, and a host of shootings in our own country, I am at a loss for words. Today I borrow the healing music of Carrie Newcomer, and the wisdom of artist/writer Roderick MacIver, who penned these thoughts several years ago in Heron Dance, a magazine he founded.

I often feel that ‘I am too soft for this hard world,’ before turning off the news in disgust and sadness and turning my mind towards daydreams of mountain streams and dark, fragrant pine glens. When exposed to the harsh realities of the world, I recoil, afraid they will engulf my light; it is a physical fear. But, I do not want to be the ostrich with my head in the sand or skip along singing my little song while Rome burns. It does not feel good to go into hiding.

The question I have been asking myself lately is: How can I stay completely present to this world – the light and the dark – while still keeping an open loving heart?

I have heard a cynic defined as a disappointed idealist. When I hear myself mutter, curse and complain following the news, I think of that definition and pull myself up by the collar. Who ever promised me the world would be perfect? I need to set a different course by reminding myself that humankind has always been flawed, has always committed atrocities at home and abroad – and love and light continued to exist anyway.

The news should simply inspire me to be extra loving and tender. It should remind me to do what I can to sway the scales towards love instead of backsliding into apathy and despair and fear. The media can make it easy to forget the light created by the millions of loving gentle souls who do exist. Good news doesn’t get much press.

Today I resolve to balance every dose of darkness I receive with an equal, if not greater, dose of light. I’ll dose up on the beauty of nature, the tender touch given, the kind deed done, and beautiful soul-stirring music. I resolve to check the balance daily and provide myself with the silence and solitude I need to maintain it. Because I truly believe it does matter what energy we put out into the world.

In celebration of the Gift of Life.

Offered in gratitude to Rod MacIver and Carrie Newcomer, and in compassion for all those who suffer pain and loss in every corner of our wounded world. May we find ways each day to lean in toward the light.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this, Banta. If we do not meet darkness with love and resolve to love, who will?

  2. Perfect. Thank you for sharing

  3. Thank you for this post Banta! It reminds me that I am not the only one who feels this way. It has actually occurred to me before that I don’t belong on this planet, I belong on some other one where people trust one another and are kind, where people seek to help and lift one another up. I love the thought expressed here about putting out an equal amount of love and light to counter the darkness. In the end, the light will win out over the darkness. That is what we need to remember.

  4. Thanks, Banta! — MA

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