Living in the Question

They say we are living in a “post-truth” world.
This, of course,
is not true.
Rather, what has been true
is no longer honest.
The foundations of what has been familiar
are crumbling.

Hollowed out of meaning,
empty and lacking substance,
the “American Dream” is more like nightmare.
And the anger, cynicism, anxiety and hopelessness,
are all indicators of a new era
to be born.
(After all, what mother,
or child among us doesn’t know the contractions,
the great discomforts,
that signal pending birth?)

Year 1543.
I wonder what it was like
when the whispers were passed along cobbled streets,
sharing the news, one to an other,
that the Sun,
always known to rotate around the earth,
did, in fact, not.
The disbelief! Dismissal. The rage! The indignant accusations of blasphemy!
…Oh, the knees that shook for the next 100 years as the foundations of that human-centered, universe crumbled!

Year 2019.
And we are there.
In the so-called, “post-truth” world.
Foundations crumbling at our feet.
Horizons, that also carry a sun,
wholly unfamiliar.

Because it doesn’t make sense, after all,
how all our best efforts got us here.
How the promise of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”
gave us this:
A rapacious, growth economy, mass extinctions,
a prison-industrial complex, an unconscionable wealth gap,
icebergs dissolving into black arctic seas,
and justice held hostage by a mob-boss President.

Because it doesn’t make sense,
and we, too, don’t yet know what does…

“Look this way”, she whispers,
aware, as she is, that it is hard, so hard, for us to do so now.
“Look here,” she beckons again, from outside our open window
where she finds us this morning,
impatiently rushing into our day,
the clock … ticking.
(New truths are forged,
she knows, only with new-found honesty,
and such honesty cannot be had
without the looking.)

“Look, here, at the seasons,
the unseasonable snowfall,
punctured with hurricanes
and wildfires.
See me.

Through our windows,
she reaches,
through the warm, autumn winds
that gust amidst old, tired leaves
dried out, now, by the hot summer sun.
And for a moment, we pause.

There, in the unpredictable gusts,
we hear it.

The risk.

Acres of hot, burning forest lands.
Homes gone.
Ours and the animals’.
Memories vanquished.
Foundations crumbling.
Our lungs fill with this uncertain air.

“Wait,” she signals,
“let yourself grieve here.”
Her words reach us,
as quiet and soft to our ears as a setting sun.
“A risk for a risk perhaps?
Risk letting go
of what you have clung to
– the new cars, the sex, the steaks and the profits –
risk this
and be still.

Surrender what you think you know,

find me…”

We do not have 100 years
to stand on shaking knees.
In this truth of the “post-truth” world,
when we turn towards
the terrible-not-knowing,
facing the questions
-living into them-
we enter the crucible
where what is old falls away
so a new worldview can be forged.

After all, are hurricanes and wildfires “post-truths”?

Leaning towards the answer,
I look out my window in her direction.
I look out through my tears.

Here, then, in this tender place,
what new horizon will my heart discern?

Here, then, what world will be created, anew,
in this stark mystery?

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