The past few days have felt like a blur and every morning when I listen to the news, I feel a lump in my throat as my grip on events in this world gets ever looser. By some miracle, Niamh left Paris early on Friday afternoon to spend the weekend with family in Dublin. I am grateful for her safety, for that Friday evening she spent sipping champagne with Megan instead of out at her usual haunts, for fortune and fate. I try not to think about the plain fact that it could have been different. Niamh has written about returning to her adopted home this weekend and her words make me feel at once sad, thankful, and very very far away, both physically and emotionally.
And here, on a beautiful November day in New York City, I feel a heavy sadness like I have rarely felt before. Uncertainty has taken the place of comfort and stability. A man in a van almost ran me over as he turned right into the pedestrian crossing where I walked outside Riverside Park yesterday. He shook his fist at me in frustration. Five minutes later, a man yelled at an elderly woman to shut up after she asked him to look ahead instead of down at his phone. Tears sprang to my eyes. Why can't we all just get along? I thought. It's a platitude but since Friday I've been saying it with heart. Why can't we all just get along? Here we are in our magnificent neighborhoods, cities, countries, on this incredible planet with countless opportunities to love rather than hate every day. Too often, too many people choose hate.
I saw someone mention this phrase this morning on social media and it's all I can think about. A new mantra. Love, in the face of fear. Because that's all we can do.
LOVE IN THE FACE OF FEAR.