by Renee Blair

They tell you in school that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, but since when has anything ever been equal? Since when have we held it accountable?

We're all born to play a losing game, a loser's game, but no one tells you the rules, which are in a constant state of flux anyway.

There's no such thing as a hopeless situation and there's no such thing as a lost cause but there are mothers who ache and pain and bleed and break to keep their families whole, and that's what's real.

Sometimes a grandfather leaves money in a bank and a kid goes to college and gets a degree and sometimes he leaves his son with bruises and a bad habit.

Sometimes she bites her nails or bums a cigarette but she is still seized by fear and the longing to cut the heart out of her chest.

And sometimes he drinks a whole bottle of wine (or two? Or more?) and kicks down a few doors leaving his boot prints on the jambs but he still wakes up to the same face in the morning.

And sometimes she takes pride in her good looks and her talent and her beautiful voice but she will never admit how badly she always needs someone there to remind her that she still exists.

And sometimes he gets himself lost in his work and he pushes everyone away and he got older and he got smarter but he never stopped hating God.

Why would you listen to me? Why would you trust me? Why would anyone, even I, believe that I know more than you or that I can tell you what it means? I don't know, but I care.

One time I tried to make a difference, and I found out about the lost children and what really happens to them and I made my connections and I did my best, and then I came back to rot like a pumpkin in Ohio.

I went to live in a big city and it only made me more cynical and I hated myself for it, but I gave a man 50 cents for telling me to have a wonderful blessed day because he had nothing to lose but more than I had to offer.

I stood among strangers for something I believed in, sharing our sweat and tears, and I had never thought more about what it meant to be human but at the end of the day a man was executed and what does that say about us all?

Fascination. With all things cruel, inhuman, unfathomable. Sometimes I hesitate to admit it, but at the core I think that is what makes me human. Twenty-four hours in a day and how can we not spend at least one with our hands cold and our mouths slack, screaming prayers in our heads, screaming for action in the streets, screaming, screaming.

Robert Frost told me that life goes on, but that's just not good enough for me and for God's sake it shouldn't be good enough for you either, should it?