Monday, June 13, 2016

One Kind Day

Yesterday I woke up to news I wish I hadn't woken up to. Another mass shooting in America. But it could have been a bombing. Or a terror attack. Or a riot. Or a police officer shooting an unarmed person. Or a 20 year old man dragging an unconscious woman behind a dumpster and raping her. 

I don't want to know these things happen in the world. I don't want to know that people are terrified and hateful and spiteful and selfish and enraged and ignorant and racist and sexist and contemptuous and self-righteous and greedy and divisive. 

I'm not here to argue a point or pass judgment or blame. I don't want to talk about guns or Islamphobia or homophobia. I just want to figure out how to live in a world that is often a place of evil and fear-- without succumbing to evil and fear myself. 

It's overwhelming. 

My natural inclination is to retreat. Click off the news. Put my hands over my ears and pretend these things don't have anything to do with me. I realize only someone in a position of great privilege can make this choice. I also realize that even the most privileged of us are still vulnerable--

    --if we go out to night clubs or run in marathons or attend church or school or parties or movies. 

Yesterday, after I read the news. I made a meal. I planted basil plants in my garden. I sat with a writer friend at a book event because I knew she was anxious about having to sit by herself, and we ended up chatting with several teen readers and writers. At night I watched the Tony Awards with my husband and teared up when Lin Manuel Miranda, the brilliant and talented writer and performer, read a sonnet about the news we had all woken up to. 

...When senseless acts of tragedy remind us
That nothing here is promised, not one day
This show is proof that history remembers
We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger
We rise and fall and light from dying embers
Remembrances that hope and love last longer
And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love...

Someone on Twitter wrote that the opposite of war is not peace, it's creation. 

I believe this. 

We live in a world where evil and fear and ignorance exist, and on a day like yesterday, especially, evil and fear and ignorance seem to be winning. 

One person can do very little to fix, to change, to solve--

and I am not so naive to think that preparing a meal for your family or planting a basil plant or sitting with a friend or talking about stories to beginning writers or taking a moment to honor music and words and theater and dance and art can counteract all of the pain and suffering and terror and trauma that happened yesterday-- 
                              that will happen today--  
                                                       that will happen tomorrow-- 

but isn't it lovely, sometimes, to think so?