Looking Beyond the World

I am loath to admit it but—I’ve grown numb.

It’s been over 7 months since the election and the initial tsunami of disbelief, horror, fear and sadness has faded. It seems I’ve moved through the five stages of grief and landed at a glassy-eyed gauze of resignation, if not acceptance.

The addresses, phone numbers and emails of all my political representatives are still front and center on my refrigerator but when I catch site of them on my way to olives and cheese, they elicit more guilt than action. Maybe if I lived in Mitch McConnell’s Kentucky or in Georgia’s 8th I’d be on the phone every day making a fuss. But here in Kamala Harris Diane Feinstein country, I’ve gone quiet. Jerry Brown’s got my back. I’m insured. No opioid crisis here in Santa Cruz (that I’ve heard about anyway) People are smoking too much pot to bother with Fentanyl or Oxy. Me? I’m safe. So…

DAILY DIRECTIONS: Wake up. Make smoothie. Insert head firmly in sand.

(Don’t bother writing. I know. I’m a bad citizen.)

Russia Obstructiongate has helped. Over the last few months, I’ve returned to the news, watching with glee as the print media digs up nails for Trump’s coffin and cable news pounds them home. Oh, what a satisfying distraction it has been.

Watching James Comey and Jeff Sessions at that polished table brought back sweet memories of the summer of 1973. I was 13, on my way into 7th grade, bonding with Mom in front of the TV, watching sweat glisten on Haldeman’s forehead. At the end was justice.

Witnessing the dog pile of Trump scandals get higher and higher has been entertaining. I’ve been cheering at the TV, happy at the news that’s the White House is in meltdown, rooting for a president’s comeuppance.

Then came the Senate’s version of the health care bill and I remembered that this isn’t junior high and we’re not in a popularity contest. It’s hard to snicker when people in wheel chairs are being dragged into paddy wagons for protesting, hard to look away at the prospect of the elderly being thrown out of nursing homes.

So? Back to the page; back to connecting; back to Chronicle of Joy.

Writing Beyond the World

In the midst of the mayhem, I’ve been working on my next project. It’s a book about spiritual qualities, the building blocks of a conscious, grounded life.

Examples: love, beauty, serenity, kindness, gratitude, courage, community and many many more.

While writing is never easy, I’ve been enjoying myself as I dive into the richness of each word. As they say, you can only write about what you know.

Writing about the sweet fruits of life that are always available to us has been enriching and helpful as the world spins out of control. It helps me remember there are principles we can count on…qualities that are there for us regardless of the whirl of circumstance.

Below is a sample of what I’ve been writing. Should you want to print a more reader friendly version, click here.

For now, I’ll wish you a joyous summer regardless of the times we find ourselves.



A disposition or willingness to stop feeling resentful towards an offense or offender

Sometimes, I lay in bed at night and seethe. Some injustice, some injury has been committed against me so I stare at the shadows on the ceiling and recall each infraction, catalogue each wrongdoing for later reference. Brick by brick, I construct a wall between me and my villain and stand firm, hardened for the fight.

But the fight never comes. I am alone, behind my wall, swirling in my fury.

The human heart is tender and we struggle to keep it safe. Sometimes that means shuttering ourselves away; other times we lash out. But when we choose to forgive, we take a different path. We don’t retreat or attack. We stand still in the tornado and make a choice to open our hearts wider than we ever thought possible.

In 2006, a man walked into a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and shot ten girls before turning the gun on himself. He was, by most standards, the definition of evil. Unforgivable. But, before the sun had set the following day, the entire community had gathered to offer their forgiveness to the murderer and his family.

Forgiveness isn’t easy. It’s a process, a muscle that needs to be flexed, nourished, stretched. The deeper the wound, the longer it takes to heal. The pain becomes a faithful, familiar companion. I know this from experience.

For decades, I stirred a pot of resentment towards my mother. She was flawed and I wanted better. Through my twenties, thirties and forties, her shortcomings simmered on my back burner. But when she called one day and, through tears, told me she couldn’t bring herself to eat, I walked into a therapist’s office and handed myself over. “My mother’s health is failing. Help me to not hate her when she dies.” Two years later, after a long and ragged road, I sat at my Mom’s hospice bedside, holding her hand, stroking her cooling forehead, loving her wholeheartedly.

Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves. To forgive is not to forget but to look through the circumstances, to the soul beyond the story. Each of us are born with a clean slate and, through the years, each of us manage to stir up the mud. To forgive is to acknowledge our fallibility, our frailty, the ease with which we all veer off the path. To forgive is to unburden ourselves of the bitterness and reach, instead, for the sweet fruit of compassion.


To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner is you.    

—Lewis B. Smedes

  • Rob
    Posted at 06:02h, 26 June Reply

    Cathy, your words are always so welcome. No needless rambling, just crisp, clean, tastefully adorned, and engaging narratives – a put-into-words mirror of your experience, feelings, and reflections. The magic of it all is that, in your mirror, I catch glimpses of my own reflection. Sometimes comforting. Sometimes unsettling. Sometimes challenging, Always welcome. Thanks.

    • Cathy
      Posted at 19:52h, 26 June Reply

      Rob, I’m so glad you see your own reflection. While I write to gain clarity myself, my hope is that they make sense to other people…that people can relate. Thanks for reading. XO Cathy

  • Siobhan Nash
    Posted at 07:12h, 26 June Reply

    Cathy–I can’t tell you how much I loved the sample from your writing project. Your words about forgiveness have a beautifully vulnerable truth to them. I can’t wait to read the book! I know you say you’ve grown numb and feel guilty by your lack of political action. But what if, what IF, this book you’re writing is your action? What if through your words, you bring some peace and light into the world? That’s a mighty gift of love and kindness. Be gentle with yourself and know that pouring your heart and time into what you love will make the world a better place. xo…

    • Cathy Krizik
      Posted at 19:55h, 26 June Reply

      Siobhan, I’m so glad you like it. Between you and me (and the 2 other people that might stumble on this) I like it too. I am very hopeful that project will actually come to fruition. I’m making good progress.

      And I always enjoy your blog. Keep ’em coming.

  • magali
    Posted at 11:22h, 26 June Reply

    Yay, Cathy, I am so glad you’re back to it. It’s easy to grow numb at the onslaught of bad news, but like you, I think we are better off channeling our energy into the positive. Last night I saw the movie Beatriz at Dinner. Have you seen it? Hailed as something like “the first great movie of the Trump era”, I hope it stirs some people out of numbness and complacency, but I`m sad to say it left me feeling like someone had fired a cannonball at my stomach. Even the heroine, played by Mexican actress Salma Hayek, said: “It’s easy to kill, but try healing. Healing is hard.” Well, more healing and less killing, please.

    • Cathy Krizik
      Posted at 19:58h, 26 June Reply

      Ms. M. Now that we are in Florida and it is 80 million degrees in the shade, I suspect we’ll be going to lots of movies. That one was on our list. Easy to kill, hard to heal. Good one. I am very glad you are in my life.

      • Magali
        Posted at 11:58h, 27 June Reply

        Enjoy the air conditioning at the movies, and let me know what you think. Hugs, my friend. You are one of the great blessings in my life.

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