I barely took any pictures this week, thus the somewhat half-hearted photo of my lunch as sole representative for week 34 of Project 52. This feels kind of appropriate. My week was full -- so full -- of good contact with good people, a pattern that's reoccurred throughout these first few weeks of 2012. It's been energising to reconnect with old friends outside of term-time, and to find new inroads into fresh friendships that promise good things in the future.
Queensland has been grey for days, grey and thick and damp and stifling. We've had more rain this January than we did last January -- the month of those fateful floods -- and everything is wet. The damp breeds with damp and creates a kind of breathy claustrophobia that makes me yearn for sun and air movement.
Then there was this weekend, and news upon news of intense grief reaching in and snatching loved ones away from their nests. First, friends of my grandparents and their loss of a grown child. Then, news that a woman who buried her little son only three months ago is now called upon to bury her husband, too. Finally, the incomprehensible report of the tragic accidental death of a five-year-old boy, the firstborn son of a couple we have known since before they were even together, let alone parents. The weight, the intensity, of that kind of grief seems like a heaviness impossible to bear. But that's what I've been praying, in the moments when my prayers make any sense at all.
So that is why having a good photo for my picture project this week doesn't seem that important, not in the scheme of things. And I wonder why I even care that it's too humid or that I have writing deadlines approaching or that I'm going to spend a day with a friend tomorrow, talking and laughing and watching silly movies. But this is life. There's happiness and hard work and silliness and mistakes and hopes -- and sometimes in the middle of it all, there is loss and there is sadness, even the secondhand kind that can only look from a distance at others' sorrows and grieve for their grief.