The world feels so hopelessly dark.

Just this week, the assumed remains of two young people were found in our state and, as if to pile tragedy upon tragedy, some have used it to pontificate about the value of humans based on their country of birth and it’s as if our humanity is leaking from a crack beneath us and seeping into the earth. I don’t see how we’ll ever recover what we’ve lost. At some point, maybe we’ll just run out completely.

Personally, we have fractured some relationships this year. Some quietly, gently. Some like sharp, jagged cuts that won’t be healed, rising months later, screaming to make themselves known despite efforts to bandage them or simply turn away.

The kids go back to school in a few days (and if something awful doesn’t befall them like this week’s news seems to promise) they’ll end up going to college and moving away and it’s already more than I can take to imagine them gone eight hours a day; I can’t even imagine them divided among the coasts.

But, amidst the darkness, there is also so much good: Emily, who wants to study musical theater, her voice ringing through the house night after night, Claudia, so dryly funny and endlessly helpful, sweet William who dreams of becoming a veterinarian, and Eric who makes me believe that the world is full of people working for justice.

There are the new connections we’ve made this summer that have been both surprising and wonderful. I find myself understanding the phrase, “everything I never knew I always wanted.”

And, I have been writing. Pages and pages on, as Ellis Paul says, a town I’ve built inside of my head. It’s been incredibly hard and satisfying and I’m sure no one will ever see it, but I’m lucky to be getting to do it.

The thing about having so much to be thankful for is that you’re keenly aware of how much you have to lose and tonight, with all the difficult news, the weight of that bad stuff feels so much heavier than it usually does.

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