My reaction — always — to violence, is to love even more. Love my children and my friends and my sisters and my nieces and nephews and my brothers-in-law and my one biological brother and my many chosen-brothers and my sisters-in-law and on and on and.
Love my two cats and the two neighbor cats who regularly come to my back door. (That would be you, Oliver and Kitty-Boy, in case you're reading.) Love the buttercups that I rip out of my garden, for their unrelenting tenacity. Love the peeling paint on my falling-down garage, love my falling-down garage which shall not be a studio, in my lifetime. Love the alley behind the garage. Love the Himalayan blackberry vines in the alley. Love the secret places in the alley and the secret places to which the alley leads, if you are observant.
Love my neighbors.
Love the rain.
Love that I have a job and love my job and love the one person who, every day, makes my job a miserable challenge. Yes. Love that person too.
Love broken glass and torn skirts and the April clouds that make me think of ripped silk. Love hail. Love the apple blossom petals that fly with the hail in the big wind that I love.
Love my toothbrush, my lavender soap, the sofa the cats claw. Love the stuffing bursting from the cushion of the sofa the cats claw. Love the cats' claws, especially when the cats are asleep and I can gently make the claws protrude.
Love my beautiful, flawed, hurting, astonishing sons.
Love the father-in-law who is no longer my father-in-law, and also love the father of my dead husband. Love my dead husband, who died drunk and broken and alone on a frozen November night. Love the man who divorced me — even he, who is the most difficult to love.
Love the customers who came to my bakery and bowed down to the altar of sugar and butter.
Love making pie. Love the sound forks and plates make when eating pie, when the silence that my sons and I call Pie Silence occurs when eating really good pie.
Love Chopin's nocturnes. Chopin's ballades, especially the one I've been trying to master for 40 years. Love my piano with all chipped keys. Love its dissonance.
Love this inescapable imperfection which runs rampant across this magnificent planet. Love this planet.
All of you.