I went away for an overnight canoe trip with just one of my dogs. It was blissful. My brain was calm and comfortable and peaceful. I noticed the lack of clutter and noise as I paddled. It was a wonderful reset.

I came home to news about Afghanistan, following Lebanon, Haiti, Cuba… and the clutter and noise has quickly returned. I commented to a friend online that I’m exhausted from holding the anger and worry and guilt. But I’m also fearful that if I don’t hold those feelings that I’ll forget about them because these disasters aren’t in my face like they are for others and I need to remember that they’re real and they’re happening right now.

I know individual responsibility isn’t going to get me anywhere. I know that we need to collectively shift our culture away from colonial consumption. But placing blame on those 100 companies responsible for climate emissions isn’t going to shift us away from colonial consumption. And governments and rule makers obviously aren’t interested in that shift either; it holds those in power in their positions. This argument of who is responsible, individuals or governments, is an endless loop and people are dying now.

So for now I will hold my grief in my mind to remember that people are dying around the world and the world is burning, even if it’s not in my backyard. And I will hold my guilt in my heart to remind myself how much privilege I have to exist in a place without war or famine or climate disasters. And I will hold my anger in my whole body to ensure that I don’t become complacent when opportunities to help arise. And I will strive to also hold joy in addition to these so that I can find reasons to build a better world for the next generations.