What is going on here?
People are still: tired, cold, burnt-out, lonely, stressed, bored, stuck and unmotivated. Kids. Especially teens. But they're back at school. Why OH Why is this holiday season turning out to be like many others - damp, lackluster and downright dreadful. It's not the weather.
CEOs made 399% more than workers in the past few years. Think about that. So the rest of us are just working, shopping, spending, staying home, skipping much needed vacations, getting COVID and crying ourselves to sleep. What is wrong with this picture? What is wrong with America? Young people are committing suicide in record numbers. 3,000 lost their lives to gun violence, while other watched in panic, suffering long after the violence washes over them. Then look at the TV. Guns, guns, guns. Then tWitch/Boss shoots himself in the head at the age of 40 leaving 3 stunning children fatherless. WHY???
I guess if I knew the answer I would know the answer. I don't. I worry about a person last week that my team rescued from throwing himself in front of the subway. I worry about the girl going up on her meds and getting activated. I worry about the guy who mixes every substance and expects to wake up and go to work the next day un-phased. I worry about the teenager whose parents don't believe in medication even though she's had depression symptoms for over one year. I worry for the losses stacking up on kids too young. What will this mean for future generations?
I am parent-less now. It's sometimes exuberant not to have to check in or check out. But my assumptions from childhood were so naive. That people would stick around. That people would have my back. That I would know love and security; adventure and risk. Not meant to be. I sacrificed for my family and I asked for little in return. Two summers ago I found an Airbnb cabin in upstate New York to visit. You could walk out to tiny pond/lake and swim around it, come back, hang out, and then go back in again. That was my sanctuary. I went three times during the pandemic. The only problem was a boom-boom explosive noise in the distance that the dog made clear was not for him. Otherwise, a perfect idyll. A time to do nothing.
All we can do is carry on. Let the memories of your people near and far and gone carry you through all your days with the light of Hanukkah. May the glowing candles remind you of your grandmother Rose, who cherished you. Who created you. Who lives in you.