The coincidence of that astounds me, but then I think about it more and it doesn't. The more I get comfortable with (that's already a problematic way of putting it...comfortable) allowing feelings to pass through me, stay with me for a time, and move out, the more I recognize how insidious this is. As such, I'm not surprised that this undercurrent of chaos and tragedy seems to be squarely situated inside of me and not only in the news but in my dreams.
Of course, when we feel things more deeply we're left with the extraordinarily confusing mess of what to do with those emotions. Although reflection and meditation are essential, I also reach a point where I need to distract myself or use another part of my mind while the other stuff plays in the background. Sometimes I want to do something that involves proessing the emotions more directly, like writing some song lyrics, or writing this, or seeing a movie that actually makes me cry MORE.
Other times I really appreciate going to my other comforts like sewing, pattern design, or cooking. Sometimes, not thinking directly about the emotions or tragedies and instead focusing on something more technical, using your hands, having to coordinate multiple parts of your body and think about time and fractions and whether the dough has reached just the right point of sticky is exactly what you need.
Although this is a kind of distraction, it actually helps facilitate the emotional processing for me. I don't see these activities as attempts to divert or shirk these ubiquitous, frustrating, complex situations but rather to engage me and keep me grounded so that I can continue to sit with them.
Making stuff is kind of an act of defiance and, even when more "craft" vs. "fine art" focused, a form of catharsis. To remain generative during times when conditions would otherwise have you sitting still, paralyzed by fear or confusion, is to grab ahold of your life force and aggressively defend it. It is to work through those emotions not just through direct representations, but through the way you handle a piece of raw material or the lines you envision on a new dress, and the kind of woman who might wear it, and the way she might feel as she wears it. It is, ultimately, to touch down with your humanity, and to get in touch with your humanity is possibly the most important thing you can do in a time like this.