We certainly picked a doozy of a time to be alive, didn’t we? From the Cold War through assassinations through foreign wars through riots right through escalating violence on up to today, these certainly are interesting times. Of course, there have been some great things, too, but after getting through the past nine months with all the political unrest, the environmental disasters, and last Sunday’s horrific event in Las Vegas, I’m finding it extremely difficult to dredge those up. I don’t usually address these things here because it seems to make some people uncomfortable enough to chide me and even boot me from their life. Instead, I take my angst to Twitter where it belongs. But I’m just so damned angry. And that’s what I really want to talk about.
Look, I’m not an angry person. Never have been. Maybe it’s because I’m a Libra, but I tend to see the pony beneath every crap pile. I can’t seem to do that right now, and what’s tearing me up is that I’m not clear on anger. There’s just so many angry people making a lot of noise and I don’t really want to add to that, but damn! I’m angry!
There comes a time when I think we have to be angry, despite the conflicting messages we’re told: “Stop being angry” and “It’s okay to be angry.” Add that to the line my mother planted in my brain, “Anger is a sin,” and I’m pretty confused and seeking clarity. As I said, I don’t want to add to the noise, but maybe I do, and maybe I should. Maybe more noise is what it’s going to take to change things. Is there a way to process this anger and grief without being unkind, without name-calling and turning ugly? I don’t know. I wish I had a priest, or a guru, or something. I’d love to ask someone what I’m supposed to be feeling.
Monday was a hell day extraordinaire. I hadn’t slept all night because I was up following the news about Las Vegas. I couldn’t sleep, actually, because of the heavy hammer of shock and grief I know we all felt. Before that, it was Trump’s debacle in Puerto Rico. Then the shooting happened. Lynette had a chemo treatment that day—the first of 12 with her new drug—and we didn’t know what her reaction would be. It wasn’t good and, as usual, I felt helpless to make her feel better, that I couldn’t take it for her. And then came the news of Tom Petty’s heart attack and approaching death. So there I was at the hospital, sleepless, worried about Nettl, in shock over Vegas, grieving the passing of one of my favorite musical artists, and feeling absolutely powerless in every facet of life. Later that night the anger rose to the top and I spent all night voicing it in Twitter, adding to the noise. And once again I was forced to face down my conflicting feelings about it. I did a lot of Googling, trying to learn how other people handle anger, and the words of the amazing Maya Angelou helped me.
I think there comes a time when we can’t afford to be uninformed and uninvolved. There comes a time when we have to ask ourselves how we can remain inside peaking out through the half-drawn blinds of our comfort zone. Not all of us are first responders, caregivers, soldiers. Not all of us are heroes, but all of us are human beings who can care, who must care.
I hope you find clarity and peace, if you’re struggling. My kindest affections and most loving thoughts to you all, and to everyone affected by these events.