Sunday, July 10, 2016

Trauma Trauma Everywhere

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Yesterday was a day that featured both pleasure as well as intense sadness. Below is the content of a posting I shared on social media:

My. Heart. Feels. Broken.

I was first inclined to write my heart is broken...but if that were literally true I would be dead right now. But sometimes I feel like I am dying. Sometimes I feel like I want to leave this planet. I don't understand human beings sometimes. Our ignorance, our self-destructive rage, our carelessness - some days it is all too much to bear.

Today was not the day I had been hoping for. There was some beauty in my day. But there were so many rough edges too. And those rough edges left me repeatedly crying. I learned today that a two year old child, yes a TWO YEAR OLD died not far from where I live. You can read the story here. That child wasn't even old enough to know what was happening as it died. And why did it die? Gun violence of course. It's an American addiction. We "solve" our problems with weaponry rather than with contemplation and open hearts. But of course we don't actually solve our problems that way - we just compound the trauma in our collective history - over and over and over again - until despair can steal easily into our hearts and make us never want to emerge from bed again.

I am so tired of living in the United States lately. The violence, the stupidity, the misplaced priorities, the hubris, the corruption, the anger, the racism - all of it put together is like a funeral pyre constantly lit - consuming everything it touches. I opened up my Facebook page just now and one of the first stories I see in the trending column is the latest news about how Wayne LaPierre is helping to destroy the world.

Yes, Wayne, that is what I see you as...a destroyer. You and the liars within the NRA deserve to be called to account for your deceit. In my opinion true justice would require you to attend the funeral of every child in America who dies due to gun violence. It would only be fair if you were compelled to attend such funerals and all the while be required to KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. Whenever you speak, Wayne, it's like a torrent of filth filling the world. I can't comprehend that someone like you actually could have a soul. How can you sleep at night given what you contribute to the world? I'd like you to come to Minneapolis and dare to promote the NRA's warped agenda to the mother of this two year old child who needlessly died! Oh, I get it, I suppose there weren't enough good guys with guns who just happened to be in the neighborhood when a two year old child was inadvertently murdered. But wait, Wayne, aren't the guns supposed to be making us safer? I consider you a fool and a liar. Every time I see a picture of you I want to vomit.

This was my day:

I went to a pool party in the hope of having fun. And I did have some fun. But I also had the great displeasure of seeing a man who treated me with such incredible cruelty three years ago. He somehow feels comfortable showing his face in society even after all the callousness he showed me three years ago. If cruelty were the only prerequisite necessary to incarcerate someone he would certainly have a place in jail.

I left the party earlier than I had planned - and in tears. I couldn't not remember that time three years ago - all the pain, all the fear, all the confusion I was feeling. I got on the train and began to make my way home - only to be required to get off the train after a sudden announcement that construction was requiring the train to go out of service. And I wasn't even warned of it! I had to board a shuttle to keep moving towards home. A few stops later a man boarded who appeared to be so inebriated that it seemed miraculous he could walk in a line. And I felt sad for him. The bus eventually dropped me downtown. And there I encountered the following:

  • A man who unzipped and engaged in a little public urination in a bus shelter. My obvious look of revulsion caught his attention and he began apologizing. I felt bad that he apparently felt I was judging him; I told him I was having a hard time and walked onward.
  • A homeless family on Hennepin Avenue - which included, it seemed, a small child.
  • The heat of the day felt positively overwhelming when mixed with the sadness I was feeling - my own personal sadness and sadness for this country and what we seem to be becoming more each day - a collection of self-absorbed people not interested in the plight of our closest neighbors.

As I felt more tears welling up I decided to change plans and go to the Basilica of St. Mary. I found my way into its interior coolness. I began crying again - these were wracking sobs that left me feeling I was almost exorcising something. My tears were tears for myself, for my community, for the world, for this two year old child who will never live to see another day.

After finding some relief I made my way to the downtown YMCA. I swam fifteen laps in the pool; the coolness of the water refreshed me.

Tomorrow: The ride home...

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I invite you to accompany me as I document my own journey of healing. My blog is designed to offer inspiration and solace to others. If you find it of value I welcome you to share it with others. Aloha!