Tragedy is like cancer.
You don’t truly feel it unless it’s you or your family (which includes close friends).
I’m not saying we have no feelings.
I’m not saying we don’t have empathy.
I say and have said,
Empathy is what makes us human, action is what makes us warriors.
We do, we have empathy and share love, energy, thoughts, prayers, and anger.
We send clothing, water, blankets, and money.
We do. We all do.
But unless you have run out of your house.
Been trapped in a building.
Had your loved one shot.
Lost everything you own.
Been stuck on an island being treated as second-class citizen.
Been shot defending your country.
Been victim of a senseless crime.
Been in a car crash (or insert any terrible accident).
Been on front lines knocking it out, just doing the work in the midst of terror.
Found out that you or a loved one has cancer some other life-threatening disease.
Had a family member, friend or a colleague die.
It is a degree removed.
Not yours exactly.
But still with space, a pause,
glass screens between the real and the surreal.
When you are on fire, starving, underwater,
and the rest of the world is not.
And the media says on day 3, “what 0% containment”?
When you are dying, harassed, raped, beaten down.
When you lose someone,
And people of power play games.
Squawk about things that do not matter.
Go on with their day.
Do not acknowledge devastation.
It is maddening, infuriating, frustrating
and all the colorful words I won’t write here.
The emotional roller coaster of everyday life is many times difficult enough. Everyone has their problems, every day, every way. No one I know isn’t going through something. Everyone is, EVERYONE one is. We just aren’t always able to share it, talk about it.
The thing is, is that when terrible things go down, people want to hear from you.
They want a touch.
Do not leave them alone.
Close the degree of separation.
When terrible things go down we need to act.
When war is waged on a gender or a race, we need to act.
When countries and people are ignored when they are starving and dying, we need to act.
You would think social media was the way to get people to mobilize. It is good but it’s not enough. Technology saved/saves many lives. And makes it easier to “be involved” but is not ACTION.
I’m tired of worrying about what people will think.
That we are on the brink of war.
And of certain men thinking they control (while wanting) our bodies.
I want organization. I want mobilization. I want us to get together.
I want empathy and action together in a love affair of EPIC proportion.
I think of my Grandmothers and Grandfathers. They brought the hard work of putting the pieces back together after war, depression, heartbreak, and injustice.
They brought the casseroles. The macaroni salads, the weird Jell-O.
The hugs. The I’ve got this. I’ve got you.
The let me help, let me build.
I’m here, literally here for you.
Or on the phone, an actual call or in person.
What to choose to do?
Frontlines are heroic and utterly the best of us.
And yes helping from afar is absolutely valid, good, and wanted.
For right now, it is where I am sitting in the hollowed out desperate trench of this moment.
Many times we can’t get to or leave or drop our own responsibilities. Sometimes it is not safe to do so. Not an excuse but the real.
Send the messages of love.
Send the things.
Make the art.
We all have our stuff.
But sometimes the stuff is monumental.
And we need each other now more than ever.
Share it, talk about it. Yes, on the social media.
Story is how we connect to each other.
I know I said that we are removed. But I know personally that
a stone of tragedy tossed into a pond reverberates
out from the center to the edges in many, many waves
and we don’t ever quite know how or who that impacts.
So I do know, I do know that.
This isn’t a micro-moment,
This macro on a global scale.
The stress level of people in the world is vast and deep simply getting through a day or getting out of bed in the morning. On top of worrying about getting shot, starving, drowning or burning up.
I say all of this to myself as I say it to you.
I feel this deeply like I know you do too.
We’re all doing our best that is evident.
But we can always do better.
Like a phoenix, we always rise from the ashes of all situations.
But it takes hope, empathy and warrior-like action combined,
to deal with the tragic.
My heart goes out.
My fingers type.
My brain hurts.
My soul rages.
My voice stands clear.
With a lot of love and deeply mixed emotions.
a wine country bud, March 2015, Balletto Vineyards, Occidental Road.