13 February

The Blizzard Of The World

by Jon Katz

“The blizzard of the world has crossed the threshold,

and it has overturned the order of the soul…”  – Leonard Cohen

The Weather Channel is constantly sounding the alarm about blizzards, but the one Leonard Cohen is writing about is a blizzard of a different sort.

It swirls and rages all around us, political arguments, impeachment, polarization, climate change economic injustice, racial tragedies and traumas, physical and spiritual violence, and the intrusion of disturbing news into the very corners of our lives, day and night.

Some people – Cohen – call it The Blizzard Of The World. It swirls and swirls all around us, sometimes it turns into a whiteout, shutting off the color and the light and the warm glow of humanity.

Winter is nearly over, but the Blizzard Of The World still threatens to blind and trap us.

More and more, it appears we are growing indifferent to the fears and suffering of others. What I see when I look at the news are people who have become separated from their own souls, losing their moral bearings, making headlines from lies and the vulnerability of innocents.

Whenever I do look at the news, what I see is people lost in the storm, clergy, CEO’s, politicians, celebrities, pundits, even school kids.

It is sometimes easy to believe that this blizzard has in fact overturned the order of the soul.

I feel my soul gets lost sometimes, but I never feel that it can be destroyed, or taken away by somebody else, or defeated by the onslaught of angry and disturbing news and images.

So far, I’m surviving this assault on the soul, on my soul. I have become an apprentice healer in a wounded world. I open my heart to others and ask myself every single morning: what good can I do today?

On my farm, in my family, at Bishop Maginn High School, at the Mansion, in the hospital room of my stricken friend Susan, in the hospital rooms of the frightened and the sick.

Amid the violence of the storm, I am called back and again and again, lured by the beauty and wonder of the world.

Blizzards can blow and blow, they can’t overturn my soul.

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