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How Can We Love the World? by Susan Brassfield Cogan

A friend of mine told me once that he wakes up every morning, looks around and groans "Not again!" He was kidding. Probably.

Loving the world is not easy when you have too much to do-when the kids are clamoring, the phone is ringing off the hook and your feet hurt. Loving the world sounds like going out in a garden, listening to the birds, looking at the clouds. There might even be roses. The world right here, right now seems noisy, cluttered, and grubby compared to that-how can you love it?

How can you love a world that has in it Abu Ghraib, Darfur, or even that homeless guy out behind the QuickTrip? How can you love a world that has bills, tawdry reality TV, and that mysterious ache in your side that the doctor said was nothing? A lot is wrong with the world, big and small. Thousands of people have died in the Sudan, thousands of babies are born every year with fetal alcohol syndrome, and yesterday, you broke your glasses. There's fear, death, aches, pains, aggravations and annoyances all around you in the world. How can you love it?

Yet, if you pay attention, you can. Sometimes you do need to drop everything, run outside and take a deep breath. Pay attention to the play of shadow under a tree or the sound of cicadas on a late summer afternoon. Sometimes you do need to wrap yourself around someone you love and put your face against their neck. Sometimes you need to look around and remember that all this noise and clutter is something you enjoy.

In the words of Mary Oliver, the world presents itself to your imagination. Life is there to be loved. You almost can't get out of it. It nudges at you like a cat that wants to be petted or it slams into you like a kid with a broken dandelion, looking for a smile and a hug. Life is insistent, vivid and inevitable. The world won't let you go. Our job is to concede defeat to the world's demands and to love it always.

BIO: SUSAN BRASSFIELD COGAN is the author of MURDER ON THE WATERFRONT, A Countess of Chesterleigh Mystery (August 2004, Hilliard & Harris) and JUBILEE, A NOVEL (2003). She writes short stories and essays on a broad range of topics and has been published in Orchard Press Mysteries, SDO Detective, The Writer's Hood, Oracular Tree, Writers Unbound, Anotherealm (winner of the flash fiction contest), AlienSkin, and has an occasional column in the Norman Transcript.

She would like you to visit her website:

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