our ground time here will be brief

End of year, with its ups and its downs. I think about the people who have passed, a few I know, most I don’t. Today I heard about a terrible event: family of four driving to Boise slid into a multi-car crash. Mom, Dad, and older sister die, 17-year-old younger sister in stable condition. What kind of condition will her life be? And today, Benazir Bhutto, the Pakistani opposition leader, assassinated. My heart sank. She was no saint, but she was about the best hope for that twisted nation.

And the rest of us here, how should we live? Is there any counsel to be gotten from these traditions of faith that we’re dazily celebrating now? I take counsel from the Jewish command to heal the world, and I’m beginning to think there’s some good counsel in love. Let’s love family, neighbors, and strangers. Tikkun olam. Agape. I’m not sure whether these imperatives are two or one.

[title of this blog post borrowed from a poem by the poet Maxine Kumin]