seeking solace

I took this picture a few years ago. It speaks to my yearning for a community that gathers with compassion. Meeting on the town square used to be a way of sharing good news and consoling those with bad news. We would keep tabs on the latest births and nod in agreement at how difficult life can be. Lending a hand if need be. Touching each other with soft embraces.

Umbrella gathering, Paula Kovarik

Today the town square has been replaced by media channels that shout about our differences and post horrific news via 140 character soundbites. Even the weather channel is now called the Severe Weather Center. Our communications have been reduced to photos with captions, videos with click bait and two-thumbed typing with hashtags. Essayists have difficulty getting published because so many publications are being gobbled up and shut down by the mega corps. Our newspaper in Memphis is now going to be produced in Nashville. How can we possibly get a feel for community that way?

Dizzy, Secret Life of Stones, Paula Kovarik

And don't even get me started on the politicians who seem to revel in fear.

Propaganda, Secret Life of Stones, Paula Kovarik

Shelter, Secret Life of Stones, Paula Kovarik

How do we stop it? How do we get back to the slow consideration of each other? Can we remember that differences add texture and depth?

Secret Life of Stones, the back, Paula Kovarik