It’d be easy…

…and it is all to easy at times like this to throw up my hands and say “Aw screw it.  Everything’s a mess.  You are all jerks and other unkind words.  I’m going to hate and denigrate and smear you, and everyone who looks/talks/smells/reminds me of/is vaguely like you.”

“Oh, and for good measure, I’m going to think violence towards you.”

I am saddened right now.  It is, by contrast, never easy, these moments.  Never easy when I find out, when in the midst of an otherwise, completely ordinary, mundane, day, one filled with work and tasks and moments of joy, to be smacked in the face with something horrible, heinous, tragic.  When things go silent with a thud.  What am I supposed to feel?  To think?  To do?  What to make of it?

How can I live in possibility when… THIS?

In those moments, I know that I need to choose what I’m going to make of it.

Otherwise that easy option may sneak in there and cement itself.  And that’s not who I want to be.

Because I know that it is limited and reductive and one-sided.

Because I know that it ignores the broad context and history.

Because I know that I am not omniscient.

Because I know that ultimately it will not work to create what I want.

I sit there, and I watch, and I read, and I try to process what happened.  And I feel conflicted.  And my feelings ping pong all over.  And I want, oh so desperately want, to find that one, single thing, that one certainty that will fix it all.

But I know there’s no one thing.  And I know that there’s no solace in righteous fire — there’s only fire, and more fire, there.  Indiscriminate, spreading, ever consuming, fire.

And so I sit and gaze and breathe and open up empathy and open up the channels for complexity and I know that there’s history there that I can only scratch the surface of and I remind myself that bogeymen don’t just jump out of the closet with knives for no reason.   That there’s work to do.

And that even then there are few bogeymen, and nearly most people are friendly and welcoming and neighborly.

And that fundamentally, we are all the same.  We all want to be happy, secure, fulfilled, loved, loving, making a difference, and living large.  We really just want to dance together.

With that, I can walk back out into the world.