As I sit here I am supposed to be writing a post about the temples that we saw in Kyoto but I am entirely preoccupied. I realized last night that just several days ago was September 11th, the anniversary of one of the most terrible tragedies to affect America, and it passed me by without my even realizing the date.

 

I sometimes find it hard to wrap my mind around how we as humans are able to recover so seemingly well from such devastation. What a testament to our great ability to adapt and survive. But I am also disturbed by the fact that so many lives were lost, and continue to be lost in our world for senseless reasons in places like Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan, etc., and here I sit in a coffee shop, the women next to me laughing, people outside shopping, I spent the last night writing a blog about food…and life goes on.

 

I even question travel and enjoyment. Should one be spending time loving life when others are hurting and have lost so much? The question of how to reconcile these two opposite realities weighs heavy on me.

 

So what is a person to do? Pray on it? Meditate on it? Find an organization and become an activist? Perhaps accept that suffering is a part of our existence? Or perhaps be more mindful and present in the lives that we live….

 

I don’t know what the answer is. I do feel though, that it cannot be to stop delighting in the beauty and love that this world does offer, whether it be traveling to see it’s breadth or spending joyful time with loves to feel it’s depth. I also know that traveling–attempting to see the more global picture–must always do more good than not, if for no other reason than to highlight the connectedness of us all: the idea that despite our differences we are all truly one in the same, each created from the same materials flowing in the same universe, by the same maker.

 

Perhaps finding a deeper understanding of that is part of what this trip is all about……

 

In the meantime, we pray for those in America and elsewhere who are hurting and searching for peace…..

 

-Kirsten