It feels like it’s too soon to write about the the assassination and murders that occurred in Tucson. I was careful not to let my emotions dictate what I would ultimately choose to write about it, and I waited for the shock and outrage to at least subside a little (I hope it never completely goes away) before I placed my fingers on the keyboard. I could have written quite a tome on the stupidity, insensitivity, and possible liability of that loathsome woman from Alaska, but I elected not to do so. I could have raged away at our ridiculous gun laws that don’t keep the mentally deranged from obtaining a firearm, (especially one with a 30 round magazine) but even that didn’t seem particularly cathartic. I wanted to call out some people who I feel are accomplices…those disembodied messengers of hate that are given fat contracts to keep us in a constant state of rage at some thing or someone, but I’ve become convinced that even the act of typing their names in my obscure blog gives them power over me, and I do not grant them that.
So, for now, I choose to rejoice, because I am still able to feel and experience empathy for both the victims, and, yes, the perpetrator of this crime. I am happy and grateful that I am able to hold two conflicting ideas in my mind simultaneously. I am delighted that I do not have a default position that prohibits me from true reflection or due consideration of the issues at hand.
In response, I am prepared to willingly interact with every being I encounter, without prejudice, until I have determined that further contact would be harmful in some way. I am resolved to acknowledge strangers, and communicate to them that I am open to approach and not a threat. (Though, this seems to be a source of amusement to a few of my friends, all the more reason to continue, I suppose).
It may seem counter-intuitive, but I believe that the best way to honor the people who lost their lives last weekend is to find even more reasons to not be fearful of the world or of it’s inhabitants. It is decidedly difficult to embrace murder. The thoughts of a bright and happy nine yr old girl lying dead on a cold tile floor and grace about it are not easy to reconcile. I imagine that upon learning of it, Jesus wept. All I know for sure is that there must be reward in the act of weeping. The split second we put ourselves in her mother’s or father’s place, and feel what they felt, tells us we are still connected to something real, something bigger and better than our petty differences.
That has to be not just acknowledged, but celebrated. I think any victory over fear is hard-fought and deserving of celebration. Like most people, I won’t win every day, and perhaps not even most of the time, but I take some comfort knowing what it is I am battling, and maybe more precisely, what I am NOT.