In which sometimes you just need sweetness

Sometimes it’s a hard world. It’s a world where the blood of children stains the sidewalk and a fireball turns a nursing home into splinters and pain. Whether it’s deliberate bombings or terrible accidents or natural disasters, it’s too much to take in sometimes. There comes a moment when you have to turn it all off and seek some small consolations–not because the awful things didn’t matter, but because they mattered too much. Awful–a very old word derived from when we were full of awe at the great and terrible. Now it just signals terrible, and there is a peculiar horror to the fact that this word and all it entails are commonplace now.

There are plenty of people writing poignant and thoughtful tributes, issuing advice and suggesting coping strategies. They quote Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. and they remind us that we are essentially good and that we will go on. These are good things to remember.

But besides the lofty and the philosophical, we also need the sweetly small–little pleasures that divert us for just a moment from all that is dire and dark. We need raindrops on roses and whiskers on lolcats and ERMAHGERD girls and otters that look like Benedict Cumberbatch. We need the smiles of strangers and the gentleness of friends. We need the adventures of PLUMDOG and a tiara a day. We need cups of tea and disapproving rabbits and cats who look like pinup girls. Oh, and we need IF poems! And the Scarlet Pimpernel and Superman and art and Joshua Bell playing “Ave Maria”. We need Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and we need a piemaker who can raise the dead. We need Panda Cam and we need to be kind–to ourselves and others.


10 thoughts on “In which sometimes you just need sweetness”

  1. Cece says:

    I found it very hard to write yesterday- curriculum outlines and Common Core assessments were not what I needed in my head-so I took your advice before you gave it, and settled down with Miss Read and the residents of Thrush Green. I needed to be there, in a fantasy of an English village in the 1950ish aura–where the most exciting thing is that the Vicar and the Grande Dame are arguing over church kneelers and Old Tom is going in hospital and who will care for his dog? I needed sweetness. Read straight through two books.

  2. Elaine Cohoon Miller says:

    So very true and so perfectly said.

  3. Pati LaRue says:

    Poignant and beautifully said, Deanna. We must remember to remember the good in life or we will be taken down. Evil must not win and all we can do is pray and carry on.

  4. DeAnna says:

    Perfectly stated. Thank you.

  5. Perfectly said.
    Also, love the new site.
    And there is nothing more whimsical than Otters who look like Benedict Cumberbatch to brighten one’s day.

  6. Kristin says:

    …and the oblivious, funny, earnest sweetness of the kids in our lives: “Mom, I never cover my mouth when I cough outside because I know that all the plants need carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. In fact, I’ll just run over to this rose whenever I need to cough.” Weight lifted for a good, sweet moment. And thank you, I haven’t seen the otter yet, but I laughed out loud just reading it!

  7. Jennifer says:

    “…they mattered too much.” You perfectly, concisely stated how I feel about things like Boston and West, TX and Sandy Hook. I have to distance myself from the news not because I don’t care, but because it makes me too sad to get immersed in it. Self preservation is important. I spend time with my son away from the media and try to find the joyful parts of his five-year-oldness.

  8. Teje Ellis says:

    An excellent piece of advice for us all. So well stated. You always find a way to interject gentleness and thoughtfulness into your blog observations. Thank you.

  9. Lynne says:

    Thanks, Deanna, you said it so well.

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