So. Anyone else noticed that there's a lot going on in the world lately?
Lest you think otherwise, I've been acutely aware. I know that Haiti isn't close to recovering from the earthquake a year ago, while 14 months later Japan has been devastated by an unimaginably greater one, almost 20 times more powerful. I know that a war continues in Afghanistan and military operations continue in Iraq, and even though the only words currently being used to describe what's happening in Libya are "confrontation" and "targeted military strike" and the mission has been given a hopeful-sounding name like "Operation Odyssey Dawn," it still smells suspiciously like the third international war that has begun in an Arab country in recent memory. I understand that world leaders continue to treat their countrymen like they're nuisances rather than people who they have a duty to protect; I understand the economy is shaky, that education in many parts of the world is failing our children, and that people around the planet are dying of both curable and incurable diseases, starvation, and even lack of clean water, for heaven's sake. If there's anything I've been lately, honey, it's aware.
Still, I sit here in my little home in Houston, nervously refreshing CNN.com and donating what little money I can when I can, but otherwise having dance parties with my daughter, drinking wine in the evenings with my husband, taking pictures of pretty things, and generally trying to keep my little corner of the internet shiny and happy. And when I think of it this way, I can't help but feel somewhat petty and selfish. So, the other thing I'm aware of is that with all the turmoil in the world, it's easy to feel really small, and helpless, and unable to change anything.
But sometimes all we can do is what we know how to do. Sometimes, if we can't do big things on grand scales on global levels, all we can do is double-down and help make our individual corners of the planet as safe and comfortable for the people we love as possible, and show some kindness to the strangers in our communities in the hope that some of it will catch on. Sometimes, when things get intense, we have to shift our focus a bit from making the world a better place, and focus on making our individual worlds better places.
All this to say hang in there, friends. Just keep on keeping on.
Image: Photographed with my Nikon D300 and 50mm lens in my parents' back garden this weekend, at sunset. aperture 1.4, shutter speed 1/640, ISO 200.