When I was growing up, there was a song I heard on the radio
called, "What the World Needs Now is Love," written by Hal David and
Burt Bacharach. The line that always sticks in my head, after the title
line of course, is this one: "It's the only thing that there's just too
This weekend, I finished reading A. S. King's book Ask the Passengers.
The main character, Astrid, practices loving her fellow human beings,
including strangers. "I send a steady, visible stream of it--love--from
me to them ... It's a game I play. It's a good game because I can't
lose. ... This isn't reciprocal. It's an outpouring."
does this, and what comes of it, and what else is going on in her life,
fills out the story of Astrid Jones. But that is where it begins, with a
girl sending her love to the world.
"Then suddenly the
dull light in the [subway] car began to shine with exceptional lucidity
until everything around me was glowing ... and I saw in the row of
motley passengers opposite the miraculous connection of all living
beings. Not felt; saw. What began as a desultory thought grew to a
vision, large and unifying, in which all the people in the car hurtling
downtown together, including myself, like all the people on the planet
... formed one united family, indissolubly connected ... The vision
filled me with overwhelming love for the entire human race ... "
--Alix Kates Shulman, Drinking the Rain
this was what Ecclesiastes meant about casting your bread upon the
water; it's so little, usually only crumbs, but how nourishing the
--Anne Lamott, Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith