Each morning we listen for what is breaking—
the sound of a thousand tragedies fills the air,
shattering that never stops,
headlines, a fleet of anchors tangled at our feet.
We watch, worried
if we turn away even for an instant,
it will all crumble the rest of the way.
Forget with me for a moment.
Take an unguarded breath.
Do it now, the world needs your attention here, too,
on the rise and fall of your shoulders,
the rustle of leaves outside the window,
the warm space between your gaze and mine.
I discovered Emilie Lygren through the poet James Crews who shared this beauty on one of his weekly posts. So now, I want to share this with you, perhaps more relevant these days than ever given the news of late.
Breaking news is an expression we are familiar with as the media brings us the latest from around the world – the sound of a thousand tragedies fills the air gives the verb breaking a more visceral meaning, a shattering that never stops. And it doesn’t, does it, so much tragedy we are helpless to stop. We watch and listen, fearing that if we turn away even for an instant, the shattering will be complete, our worry the only thing that keeps it from happening. So we stayed glued to the screen trying to comprehend.
Forget with me for a moment – what a startling invitation, to turn away and take an unguarded breath. What a challenge, to breath without defending ourselves from the awfulness around us. But this is necessary she tells us, the world needs your attention here, too. We must turn our attention to the warm space between your gaze and mine, the warm space that reminds us there is also kindness in this world, not just the horror.
This poem is reminding me to keep my heart open to the wonders of life even while I keep one eye on the news. I know which way I want to keep my focus, no matter how often I am distracted. Let us keep looking toward one another.