No Time Out From Heartbreak

Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, photoshops a cow trapped in the piping of a dairy products facility.There are some things in this world I am never going to understand.

Like massacres. Killing. Cold-bloodedness. And inhuman cruelty.

Last week too many mothers had their hearts broken. Their stories and the faces of their children filled my head even after I turned off the TV. I tried to escape the images of their agony, but wherever I turned, in Wegmans, in the woods, Netflix, Facebook, …their despair followed me.

It was too difficult to write about people senselessly losing their lives. And the tormented families and friends left behind. Memories of my own pain resurfaced each time I tried.

So I sequestered myself in the quiet corner of my living room, in the depths of my computer and the distraction of Photoshop, thinking I could paste together a pure fresh collage on a blank canvas. There was no escaping. Even there, in the limitless layers of Photoshop, I found traces of my own heartlessness.

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6 thoughts on “No Time Out From Heartbreak

  1. Elaine Mansfield

    Yes, a word filled with torture. Your image makes it real. I don’t eat cows, but I know my breakfast yogurt (even the lovely organic kind) has torture behind it and torture ahead of it when the cow will become organic hamburger. I can’t find a silver lining except in my forest, except in the golden woolly caterpillar eating my Brugmansia leaves, except in memories of the butterflies I raised and released this summer, except for the people I love and the ones I can call when It’s all too damned much.

    Reply
      1. Robin Botie Post author

        I’d rather have the mistake come through as ineptly typed originally. Because Spell-Check can REALLY mess things up in a way that not only stands out, but also undermines the seriousness of the subject matter. Yikes, the things S-C comes up with.

        Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Funny how you keep mentioning silver linings, Elaine. I keep looking for them too. And I’ve very recently found a beautiful silver lining right in Facebook. I put out a plea for bereaved mothers to help me with my journey to Australia to cremate my daughter’s stuffed animal on a beach. And the beautiful warm responses I’ve received are amazing. I’m meeting so many wonderful people in my grief journey. Mothers from Sydney to Melbourne have offered to help with my ritual, with taking me whale-watching, with showing me the sites, and with their own stories. It’s making the planning and the actual going there much less stressful knowing I’ll have friends there when I arrive. And yes, about the milk cows – did you see the poor cow in my picture has a tag in its ear numbered in the thousands?

      Reply
  2. Lucy Bergström

    I could have written your blog this week. It was torture to listen to the news. Man’s inhumanity is manifest. Your illustration, reminding us about what we do to animals, is a punch in the gut. There is no silver lining this time.

    Reply
    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Yeah, I’m sorry, Lucy. That photo I did really upset a few people. Nothing next to the news broadcasts, but it certainly didn’t help promote peace and mercy. A not-so-gentle reminder in a world where we’re daily faced with imperfection. Will look for the brighter side next time. But the world, well, it is what it is.

      Reply

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