800px-Image_of_the_Sun_shining_through_cloudsLast year’s ups and downs were so frequent and extreme I often felt seasick. Hopefully the rhythms of life in 2020 will feel less like a roller coaster in a thunderstorm. I shouldn’t complain. All told, the last year of the decade brought me more joy than sorrow. A new grandchild arrived. My job became permanent. The Coast Guard offered our daughter a commission.

The year ended on a happy note. On Christmas Eve, I received a friendly email from the author of one of my favorite books, who found me through this blog. His beautiful, award-wining book gave me a metaphor to describe the pain of watching someone you love suffer.

“The image of compassion: a mother running along the bank of a rapid river, keeping up with her drowning child, running along the bank because she had no arms” (Lindsay Hill, Sea of Hooks, citing Patrul Rinpoche).

What do you do when you desperately want to help but you’re powerless?

You must learn to say to yourself that you have no arms.

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