I was standing over my stove when I heard the news. Another school shooting. More senseless violence and loss of innocent life. This felt like Déjà vu all over again and I already knew, sautéing the garlic and peppers, exactly what to expect to happen next.
No new gun control measures, no money for research on gun violence, no appropriate screening tools, or waiting periods, no additional money for mental health treatment. Nothing.
As a former actor, I often times wonder about the experiences that others have as they move along the paths of their lives. It is a door that I open only cautiously at times like these. I do not want to know what these parents are feeling tonight. This is not a story I ever want to play a part in telling. My heart is not sufficiently advanced to explore that kind of grief without being swallowed whole by it.
But how can I turn away? Am I not complicit in the refrain that nothing will change if I can’t even listen to the news story without having my world fall apart? Is that why we turn away from what is difficult? Is that why we descend into paralysis rather than take to the streets in protest yet again?
What is the proper response to the brutality and monstrosity that exists in our world?
Right now, I am doing the little that I can do to not turn away – I am sharing my thoughts, my reactions, and my powerlessness with you. I hesitate as I write, knowing these words may upset or provoke you. But maybe a little upset or provocation is okay.
While I try to use this space to offer insights and thoughts from my own journey in the spirit of hope and communal healing, those are not the words that want to be written right now. Instead, I find only words of outrage and impotence. I find only more grief and shock.
We need to be together in this too, as hard as it is. We need to rise up together, our shoulders shaking not just with rage at the injustice, but with the urgent need do to better, the mandate to protect a stranger as we would our beloved, to prioritize and be driven by compassion, to hold one another as we cry, and to tell the horrific story again and again until there is finally either lasting change, or our voices are hoarse with the trying.
Blessings on your journey,