How to Be Festive When the World is Weeping

How to Be Festive When the World is Weeping

Last month, after running an Ibulliance story about a group of women in Ukraine making pysankas, the traditional colorfully painted eggs, I texted their leader, Lesia, to let her know we sold out in the first two hours, all but a tiny few. She could hardly believe me; her day completely brightened by your response. She quickly assured me her group will make more; and wanting to make sure you receive them in time for the holidays, even considered driving to Poland to ship them! 

I've been thinking about that group of women, lives hobbled by the offensives still hurling toward them, gathering through bleak days to write, with wax and dye, amulets of a kind meant for festivities, meant for joy.  The ornaments arrived this week—as our holiday season arrives, as our lively fuchsia ensemble arrives, and I stand in our studio between the careful undressing of delicate eggs and the festive party-wear going out on the floor, and wonder how to hold both of these together. How can I wear that much happiness, I wonder, when so so many of this world are weeping?

women in Ukraine making pysankas

It's a daily kind of question, since my heart breaks with the news each morning, and rises again as the maple outside my window sings. I've come to this. That in my yearning to embrace the world, I don't want to leave out anything. I don't want to build compartments to hold the messy parts, easier to manage. I don't want to manage any of it. What I want is to hold it all in this human heart. Hold it together, and be present to it. That's all. To refuse joy, I've come to believe, is as shallow as refusing to touch the despair of our broken world. I want to believe we are here for all of it.  

In the heart, where there is room for everything.

All the best,