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J. M. W. Turner

J.M.W. Turner

For nothing is fixed, forever and forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have. The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.” ~ James Baldwin

My world has shifted in the last few weeks in a way that has left me reeling, looking for something to hold onto, to keep from sinking into darkness.

The remarkable thing is I’ve managed to pull myself back from that edge, to realize that no matter what seems to be happening “out there,” what really matters is what’s happening “in here,” in our own consciousness. Will we let an overwhelming sense of loss, grief, and rage pull us under? Or hold on tight to the ones we love, and the things that give us joy, a sense of buoyancy, and the ability to ride out this storm.

I am not alone. Those in the Carolinas experiencing the ravages of Florence have been been facing those rising seas, that failing light. We all experience these calamities, whether of our own or another’s making, or something completely out of our control. Nothing is fixed “out there.” But our minds are our own. We get to decide how we weather our storms, whether we hold on to each other and the things we love, or let the sea engulf us and our light go out.