Generally speaking, writing about life’s enchanting moments is easy. Just about anything qualifies. Got a head cold? Sure, I can work that in. Going on a trip? Easy. Had a stressful work week? Piece of cake. Enchantment is all about perception. If we change the way we interpret situations, we can live a more enchanted life.
Some weeks, though, writing about enchantment is hard. This was one of those weeks. Sometimes life is not enchanting and no little tweak in how we view things will change that. Sometimes life is brutal and gory and traumatizing and anger-inducing.
I was just in Orlando a month and a half ago at the start of our honeymoon. I may have seen the staff person who was killed last week when I rode Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. I’m not sure. What I am sure of is that a city that is normally all about finding life’s magic is suddenly about finding much darker things. Finding family members who are missing. Finding bodies or parts of bodies. Finding out the worst. Finding monsters. Finding a way to make it through the night. Finding courage to keep going. Finding out that yet another tragedy has struck.
But, more than finding things, we are ALL searching for things that we can’t find. We are searching for answers. We are searching for meaning, or understanding. We are searching for a consensus that can’t be reached. We are searching for truth in a web of memes and twitter statuses and rumors and opinions and misinformation and corruption and hatred. We are all playing riddles in the dark. We are all running in a giant Caucus-Race.
There are, really, two outcomes of this race. The first is that we will continue to get nowhere. In this case, we can throw our hands up, stop running and give in. The second is that we WILL get somewhere. This will involve scary words like compromise, understanding, empathy, and courage. It will involve us really, truly, looking at things from someone else’s perspective. YES, that means the person whose opinions you don’t like, even if their opinions are full of judgement or fear or misinformation. YES, when I say “us,” I mean YOU. It also will involve taking ACTION in any way that you can, even something small like signing a petition or making a small donation.
I like to think that we will get somewhere. Just look at all the other times we have gotten somewhere. My voice, a woman’s voice, wouldn’t be heard like this if we hadn’t gotten somewhere. I wouldn’t have been able to marry my husband if we hadn’t gotten somewhere. It’s the getting there that makes these horrific moments our generation’s personal journey of overcoming. And it’s a shame that we have to go through these moments, particularly for those whose lives were lost and for their family and friends. It would be so much easier if we could just start with love and compassion, wouldn’t it? Certainly it isn’t fair that we go through these pains again and again.
Still, every magical tale contains darkness and monsters of some form. Every magical tale has its own story of overcoming. Every magical tale ALSO has heroes and friendship and love and so many wonderful things that make the tale worth telling. This may not be a tale that we will ever, ever want to tell. But the heroes who are standing up for what is right, who are working hard to reach a consensus, who are responding to cries of distress, who are doing anything and everything they can, make the tale one that will need telling. We all have the choice as to whether or not to embody those heroic traits like love, courage, and compassion in these situations. That, I think, is how we find enchantment in the world’s dark moments: by being that lightness, by being that love and compassion.
Remember: “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”