"Love is a harsh and dreadful thing to ask of us, but it is the only answer."--Dorothy Day


Poetic License.

In my first professional life, I was a writer and an editor. This gave my world a little room to breathe. Life could be poetic; it didn’t have to be logical, or practical, or make sense anywhere but in my head. In this, my second professional life, I would like to keep a little bit of this, though that’s pretty much impossible where I work. This week, after spending Christmas Eve in the ER with my best friend and learning that my friends’ little boy is seriously ill, I long to live in this world. A world where if I breathe deeply and steadily, you will breathe easier. A world where I can take your pain on as my own, because I have felt pain like this before and would never wish this on someone I love. A world where we are so connected that I can actually feel your pain, rather than what I feel being simply somatic symptoms or the fact that your illness is highly contagious. A world were all violence is symbolic and meaningful, and all sorrow leads to joy.

There is only one place where any of this can be. And that place is the heaven we are promised in Matthew 5:3-12. One Sunday at my church, CCFB, my minister and friend pointed out that I am one who truly mourns the world. I find it impossible to look on the suffering of others and not suffer myself, often with tears in my eyes. This quality is looked on by some as a weakness, as my being overly sensitive or a little unstable. But in pointing this out my friend made me realize that this is not a weakness, but an admirable quality. An admirable quality that at this moment seems a plague, but something I'll try to keep. So this is what I get in Christ. All of things that bring us suffering now will, when we reach that day, bring us light and joy beyond imagination. I long for this day.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things about you falsely on account of me.
Rejoice and be glad because your reward is great in heaven, for they persecuted the prophets before you in the same way.


A Blog To End All Blogs.

I decided today was the day. I'm sitting in my office with no patients due to and losing patience with the MTA Strike. I need something to do, other than my mountain of paperwork. So I'll start plaguing the world with my musings.

I have decided that this will not be a very personal space, but more a philosophical one. I have been working the the past six months as a social worker in a NYC hospital and have become overwhelmed by the injustice that I see here and that I read about in the world. I need an outlet. So here it is.

The people I work with here, as it is a city hospital, are the poorest of the poor. They are those most failed by our society's supposed safety nets. They were allowed to pass through school learning nothing more than how to write their names, if even that. They are taught to be ashamed that they cannot read and are thus pushed further into the margins of society. They are forgotten there. They are plagued by addiction and disease and mental illness, and left to deal with loads that those of us with mountains of education would crumble under. And they are expected to be grateful when I find a way to offer them a substandard home, and substandard food, and a substandard life that I myself could never even imagine. And this is not right.

We live in the richest country in the world and yet we give less than anyone. We have excess in all things and yet we do not have enough. We spend millions of dollars trying to out-research each other in medical science, while millions of people perish because they don't have have access to the most basic of medications. I am outraged and guilty and tearful and tortured by the things I see everyday, both in my work life and in my personal life. And I have no answers. Only questions.