So I’m up on the roof. It’s been a windy day and the tail end breeze is nice. The sunset promises to be spectacular. The intermittent beach at the end of our street is hanging in, making it easy to get my board into the ocean. It’s been quiet in the tropics. NOAA has downgraded its prediction slightly. Still we prepare. Like we writers pitching agents say, it only takes one.
I’ve been avoiding social media and other distractions so I could finish the rewrite of my second novel. I got to the point that all of the distractions in my life were not letting me sink into the story. I find I need (and love) to do that. So I took care of my obligations and spent the balance of my energy in my made-up world. It’s done now and I’m letting it cure and some friends read it. For me it’s the hardest part of the process, letting my baby sleep and others nurse it. It has to be that way, though. I get too close and fall in love with some words that just don’t fit or age well.
Now that I am back in this reality and catching up with things (a horrifying endeavor), I’ve been thinking about compassion and am wondering if we have lost our ability to feel it, let alone act on it. Looking at the news, I can convince myself of it. Case in point: the draconian, no exception abortion bans going into effect. Women with ectopic pregnancy, in which the embryo is never viable, have to endure severe pain and risk of death, sterility, or permanent damage before it can be terminated. This is not a highly rare occurrence, 2% of all pregnancies are ectopic. A compassionate person, even if they believed honestly that abortions are bad, would surely look at this devastating consequence and say, “You know, we need to tweak this thing a bit.” But no. A ten year old girl, pregnant from a rape, should be treated with loving care and compassion and, of course, allowed to have her 6 week old pregnancy terminated. Yet this poor girl, and her doctor, were vilified and marginalized as if it was a false story.
I believe in the capacity of our compassion to say ENOUGH.
I hope we do.