17 December 2012

This one is just different

I know you are tired. I know you are burned out and ready to tune out. I know that you have a million things you are feeling and thinking and I know you are on the verge of a waterfall of tears for the twenty-third time today. I know that you are shocked and horrified and a million awful other feelings that are bursting from your seams. I know that you are ready to turn off the TV, take a hammer to your computer, and shove hot pokers into your eyes and ears to avoid all of it, any of it, anything that might remind you that there are unexplainable, unreal, unfathomable things that happen that could shatter your life and love and dreams into a thousand billion weeping pieces, beyond repair, beyond thought, beyond words, beyond hope, beyond a useful and meaningful outlet for the rage rage rage and despair.

Oh that's me. Sorry.

I spend a fair amount of time trying to be diplomatic (which I am actually quite bad at). But almost 10 years ago I sat in a room full of people who loved me and I listened to a very hard truth about myself, which is that I am an angry person who has great potential to alienate everyone around me with my anger. So in the loving arms of my friends who offered me that gift I tried to address it. I read lots of books, I meditated, I worked on creative visualization. I held onto the man I love and vowed to never put him on the outside of that wall of anger, which I have failed at time and time again. But luckily I married him and luckily he understands how to love unconditionally. Then I had a kid and my anger became a crisis. I tried therapy, drugs, more meditation, more yelling at my husband, lots of mental self demoralization.

I try to not swear in front of my kid. I try to keep my writing honest but inoffensive. I drive the speed limit and color within the lines. If we're face to face I won't pick a fight (usually). My husband and I both pity the telemarketers who call and get me on the phone. I relish unleashing on strangers. I yell at people and flip people off on the road, in the safety of my car. But I have a hard time these days rocking the boat on most matters. Most matters. Most things don't matter you see.

But this one matters. This one is different. And I'm going to try to tell absolutely everyone exactly what I think this time…and maybe from here on out. Now I'm itching for a fight. Now I'm going to harness my anger and put it exactly where it needs to go. Now I am unafraid of my anger. And I am unafraid of what anyone else might think of my anger. Because if we don't harness our talents and use them now we will never ever change. And if we never ever change then we are doomed. And today, my talent is my rage. Perhaps today my rage can be used to my benefit, and to the benefit of my community.

Do not disengage. Do not tune out. You are the only one who will make a difference, but only if you stay in the fight. And make no mistake - this is a fight. There are many ways to engage and we will need every one of them. So choose your weapon and do whatever it is you need to do to open your eyes and ears and respond to the grief the shock the horror as well as the unbelievable stupidity and ugly hatred that is surfacing now.

I'm so sorry this happened. I'm so sorry this happened to you. And it did, you know. It did happen to you. Don't forget.

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