I also thought, since this retreat is all about introspection, why don’t I leave my contacts out and let the world fade. Thirty years of wearing corrective lenses has rendered me acutely nearsighted and so the blurry world around me made it easy to anchor my focus inside.
When the news broke about the recent shootings in Dallas last Thursday, my heart froze. I found out when my friend Saul messaged me on Facebook. “Turn on the news”, he wrote. “There have been attacks”.
Ever since grade school I have gravitated to leadership. Yep, I was that kid. The one who always got A’s, was quietly liked by most and ran for and got elected to Student Council President and Class President in the same year. I was 12. I still hadn’t menstruated. I wore big, horn-rimmed glasses and my hair was usually frizzy.
I’d like to share something here about my grief process of late. Sunday, a very close friend of mine died in a car accident. No warning, nothing in her life indicated the end was near. A car hit her and she was gone.
My favorite line from The Princess Bride, my favorite childhood movie, begins like this. “Surrender!” commands Prince Humperdink, as he and his henchmen surround a battered Westley and Buttercup as they limp out of the woods of the infamous Fire Swamp.
It usually starts the same way. One of us has something difficult to share. It’s like a hot potato, difficult to hold. We toss it about, circling the conversation before eventually blurting some news to the other that lands like a burning coal we didn’t see coming. Ouch! Damage is done.