2016 Holiday Season
“Not being too certain that ‘never again’ can truly be achieved, I still believe that we must continue to educate the next generations about the dangers of wrongly understood nationalism.”
Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor, professor and Nobel Laureate. Died in July at the age of 87
How am I going to manage in a world with Elie Wiesel no longer in it? I long to hear his voice, crystalline in perception and unwavering, speaking of this moment in history. I want him here to point out the North Star by which we can navigate our tossed and tiny ships. Still, he left a powerful legacy. His essence and wisdom are here.
This year has been an uproar leaving many disconnected and afraid; women who are distrustful and jaded of men, children who are distracted and confused, men who have lost their centered sense of personal power. People disenfranchised. The moral compass spinning.
The distinguished and wise poet/philosopher, Mark Nepo, with whom I studied this year, said to me recently, “Don’t write about what you know. Write about what you want to understand.” I will be writing more.
How do I hold my center in a world in upheaval? How do I have confidence amid fear and worry. How do I feel safe? Perhaps, sometimes, I don’t. Perhaps it’s about returning, again and again to my heart. Perhaps it is the cultivation, on a daily basis, of moral courage and fierce determination; to not linger in strange waters when I’m knocked off course.
Despite turbulence, each of our lives continues. We will each choose where we place our energies, time and talents. This year, I completed my certification in Accelerated Resolution Therapy. Yet another tool for facilitating recovery from trauma more deeply and efficiently. I’m adding to my public Facebook page more faithfully. Please come visit for encouragement and a respectful dialog. I’ve also indexed my blog so that you can find support by category. My advocacy for all captivates, human or animal, continues. One of my deepest commitments. Lily, Susie and Emma Jane, my own dear fur girls, remain always my sustaining treasures.
As most of you know, I love novels. I learn so much about human woundedness, frailty and strength from them. I get to observe in a morality play the way some decisions take a generation, or many generations, to come full circle and be made right. One of the most powerful that I read this year is Amy Tan’s The Valley of Amazement. In it she writes, “Neglect is a surreptitious slayer of the heart. It has as its accomplice carelessness.” May we not let worry cause us to be neglectful. May we not grow careless through the distraction of perceived powerlessness or fear. God is still God. The world is still beautiful. The human heart is still capable of magnificent striving.
An article in the Washington Post said of Elie Wiesel recently, “In his lectures, he often looked small and fragile behind the heavy lectern. He commented that he hoped not to live long enough to be the last survivor because the burden would be too great.” We will carry on his legacy. May we follow his example to speak and love again and again and again.
Don’t give up. Keep growing. Keep giving. Keep believing.
Be blessed and be brave, Jeanne
“The Earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it.”
Chief Joseph, Nez Perce