Every day and in the United States in particular, we experience one deception, one violation, one scandal, one mass shooting, one assault on our collective reasoning, one attack on our decency after another. Social media catches it all and acts more like a net, a web. I can’t shake it though I want it off of me. I am ensnared by what I read and see. What I know often paralyzes me with fear or it sticks to me and I take it where ever I go. “Be afraid. Be very afraid.”
Tonight is no different. I am sitting on my bed and wondering, “What do we say now?” Reminded yet again of the world our words create, I am struggling to find them. I know that I have them around here somewhere but I do not have the energy to look, the desire to try to give hope one more chance.
I want to say, “Things will get better” but it doesn’t sound right. I need to say, “Be still my soul and know who your God is” as she paces frantically back and forth. But, those words won’t come to me no matter how many times I ask them to.
And a cat does not have my tongue but I wouldn’t feel it if she did. I think that I am numb. Because I can’t keep feeling like this and survive. I am slowly shutting down.
Mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburg. He wanted “to kill Jews,” the deadliest in U.S. history. Two African American grandparents were killed at a Kroger grocery store in Kentucky. The shooter tried to enter a African American- led church before committing this heinous act. Fourteen bombs sent to political leaders, a benefactor and a vocal Trump critic. All in the same week. What can I say?
The news is breaking me and it is taking me longer to piece my thoughts together these days. It is harder to believe in our shared humanity when we are divided in these ways. These words pile up and around me. I am trying to clean up my act, to get my act together. I sort through my letters, trying to form words that make sense– because this doesn’t make sense.
What are we saying about each other and to ourselves if this is the response? White nationalism. Xenophobia. Political Terrorism. The world is not getting smaller but we are. Despite the speed of our internet connections, we are shrinking, shirking our duty to love, to listen, to learn from each other. Replaced with words like echo chamber.
But, I don’t want to hear this anymore. I want to say something different so that I can see something different. Because these words are not working for me. This cannot continue to be our reality. Another day, another tragedy, what do we say now?