It was as if all the suffering in the world was being poured into a deep well, and I could feel the losses, fears, sorrows, and agonies of everyone in the room—many of them strangers–as we reached toward understanding and peace together. Meaningful rituals can carve a space for real, necessary lamentation. That space is hard to find. Unless you are a romantically disappointed emo teenager, sadness is kind of embarrassing. We exist in the land of Facebook posts that look like mini-versions of holiday letters that assure the world that our lives are FANSTASTIC. Yesterday, we made a space for suffering, and from that darkness grew the rare and beautiful blossom of compassion. Damn, I needed that. It also shook me, and forced me into the present moment of my own life.