In this photo, I'm getting ready for a speech, the audience is settling into the conference room, I've taken a selfie to send home to my family to show them that I am okay - something I've done perhaps four times in all the years of owning cellphones - and what no one knows is that my heart is in a thousand tiny little pieces. A friend is ill, a child I love is suffering, the world is violent, and at night in the aloneness of the hotel room, I will worry the bone of sorrow until the early morning hours.
What we are asked to carry is remarkable.
And all this, just prior to the pandemic, just prior to the world tilting on an axis of virulence and isolation and death.
What we never know is what is coming next.
These days I am asked often, "How can I help my friend? My cousin? My colleague?" We seem to all be carrying the weight of someone else's suffering with us - no one is spared. We want to help and it doesn't always feel like what we have to offer matters.
There is so much need.
If the weight of it all is heavy right now, know that you are not alone. Know, too, that the smallest positive steps might make a profound difference.
I don't remember what I did that evening to soothe myself or strengthen my inner resolve. I do know that lately, in the deepening dark, I've been choosing to listen to music that inspires. If that might be meaningful to you as well, please consider listening to a global set of artists holding us all through their rendition of "The Weight."