During the power outage a few weeks ago, my friend Shelah observed, “It’s so interesting. The minute your lights and oven blink back on, you kind of forget about all the people still without power.”

And it’s true, we went from feeling so much kinship and solidarity with friends in Louisiana and California because of hurricanes and forest fires, to (and I’m not proud of this) kind of forgetting about how difficult daily tasks become without the power grid.

There’s so much sad news right now. More than we can comprehend. More than we are meant to comprehend.

I spent some time searching for this quote the other day and then my friend Ingrid miraculously posted it on her Instagram feed (like the quote fairy come to life!).

Our minds can widen out like the lens of a camera, holding the emotion and interconnectivity of the big wide collective of humanity. This ability is surely a gift and the seat of our empathy and activism. But this ability can also flood and paralyze us. So we need to be able to tighten up the lens, focusing narrowly and solely on this breath, this meal, this hug. This moment.

Right here, right now.

Dr Alexandra Solomon

It feels almost selfish to read this quote, doesn’t it? And yet, it rings true. We MUST expand our vision, do what we can to help others, to mourn with those who mourn, to comfort those who stand in need of comfort and then we MUST narrow our focus, to recognize our blessings, to savor the good.

God reminds us over and over to be grateful. Not because HE needs our gratitude, because we need to recognize the good in our lives.

It’s an interesting balance, isn’t it? I’m not pretending to have the answers. I think I’ll send a Target gift card to my friend in Louisiana right now, and then I’ll settle onto my cozy couch, with my darling husband and enjoy the luxury of lights and internet and sleeping through a Jason Bourne movie.

I spent so many years studying WWII– reading histories, biographies, memoirs and novels. With my knowledge of crucial dates, I often wanted to warn the people in the histories of what was coming. What were they thinking getting married, throwing parties, wandering in the park, when bombs were about to drop? And even when working for the resistance or fighting on the battle field, there’s so much wisdom of focusing narrowly and solely on this breath, this meal, this hug. This moment.

Right here, right now.