Bringing Life

Is it “being responsible” to bring a wee babe into a world where an adult in a suit and tie can snatch at countries like any old kindergarten bully hugging all the balls to himself; where evil men work with nonchalance to bring down innocence; where the vulnerable are being raped of their homes, their routines, their virginity; where children cry from hunger and fear or for the pain of leaving their papas at the border. Where men think they are doing the right thing while panting after the wrong thing and in doing so, have become manipulators and propagandists of their side of the story,of their insights, their dream, their ideal, their rights, their legacy.

Love gets so screwed up that it becomes near to impossible to unscrew it. Sin parades coolly on corner after corner, gaudy and laughing, and, when it’s not being blatant, it just as easily sneaks in as virtue’s shadow posing as ” for the ultimate good” or “for the rights of the people”,for “a better society”, or, for all the world,what I thought was humility and selflessness. Horror of horrors!-it’s even in me.

So tell me: can an infant babble back the darkness?

The news blinks out monstrous stories, and real life isn’t really better. It’s not just out there, happening to someone else, or ” over the big pond”, in some commune, or just to the politicians. Since Cain murdered his brother, it continues to be in our towns, in our beds, next door to us, in our families, on our own bloody hands. Things like bills and troubles seem to be boiling out somewhere in the distance but sweeping in mighty fast; loneliness, misunderstanding, disease.

And it all, always,-even if there is some Braveheart,or a prophet, holding back the flood for a few seconds on the timeline of the world’s events- ends in death. It’s enough to make one reel back, and fling up his hands in utter despair. What chance do we have against death?

Who has wisdom enough to say: is planting a seed in the path of destruction responsible or not?

The sun shining through stabs of new grass, and forsythia like laughing torches, sheep exalting in the sun, orchestras, cream-filled croissants, unexpected acts of kindness, cappuccinos, the glitter of exploring a new city after dark, funny wishes ( A datschund! A yellow raincoat! Crazy socks!) and mended hearts; houses longing to be loved, with windows made for red geraniums; gem-colored scarves wrapped ’round chocolate hair; long rich skirts, foreign rugs and the comfort of a simple lambskin. Parishioners carrying branches home from morning church. Mischievous eyes and dirty children, ancient castles and new thick slabs of bread; walks through well-laid parks making design-loving hearts rejoice, books that have you chortle straight out in the calm of your husband’s Sunday nap. Stone-walls and old trestle bridges and grey-green orchards planted on pastoral hillsides; horses with red plumes on either side of their magnificent heads; pie and pj’s and mugs of hot tea, pottery, verses of poetry and magic in the wind. To know the pleasure of rain on the windows when you’re tucked up inside. Craftsmen, leather bags and a good roll in some newly-washed bedding, the howl of a train, the perfect words for the occasion, funny knitted hats, elegant glassware, eyelashes moving sleepily, the thumping and scraping of tiny legs in utero: can we possibly be responsible enough  to hold back a child from entering this miraculous world?

There’s the laughter after something has gone wrong and all you can really do is chuckle. The grins people stuff back when a curious child wanders in a service. The disbelief when a plant sprouts up in an unlikely place. And what means the absurdity of God coming like a lamb?

Here’s what I’d like to know: can a little bit of life trump a magnitude of death?