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This morning I got going a little earlier than usual, as I was expecting a delivery and wanted to be sure I was awake and dressed and didn’t miss hearing the doorbell.

I’d stayed up the night before just as late as I normally do, so was somewhat tired and bleary-eyed as I went through my usual morning routine. Still, once I’d made a coffee and settled down in front of my computer I realized that in spite of my sleepiness it was rather nice to have some extra, unexpected quiet time of my own – time to think, to prepare myself for the day, to catch up on odds and ends.

For a few minutes, everything felt perfect in my little office. Through the open window I could smell the fresh summer morning and drink in a view of vibrant greens illuminated with sunshine and canopied by blue sky and puffy white clouds. I could hear the soft rustling of the wind in the trees and the bubbling of the water fountain in my neighbour’s back yard. As I sipped my coffee and adored our two beautiful fluffy boys, tranquility was almost tangible.


Then I opened my e-mail.

Violence rocks Ferguson, Missouri…

The ongoing battle with ISIS…

5-day Gaza truce gets off to shaky start…

Ebola kills second top doctor in Sierra Leone…

Zelda Williams receives offensive responses to her father’s death…

And suddenly, delighting in the beauty and happiness and peace in my own little world felt somehow wrong, selfish, small. Guilt rebranded gratitude as gloating, and my unearned privilege reached out to slap me in the face. Who am I and what did I do to be so fortunate, when others aren’t? To enjoy health and safety, when others don’t? To live, when others die?

The honest answer? No one, and nothing.

And yet here I am, alive and well with my view and my fresh cup of coffee and my two gorgeous cats and my sense of tangible tranquility, with time on my hands to devote to contemplation instead of to survival.

It is humbling.

NaBloPoMo August 2014

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.