Where have I been in the last two weeks? Not at my computer, that’s for sure. My previous blog brought up uncomfortable feelings. So much so that I didn’t post it on social media, only sent it to my followers. I told myself last week that I was too busy to write because Matt was visiting with us. In hindsight, that was an excuse. I could have written on Thursday before he arrived on Friday. It’s taken me a week just to sort through my discomfort, but the process has become an enlightening experience that I’m finally ready to share.
I’ve been listening to Sting’s “Let your soul be your pilot” on repeat. At first, I thought the melody was drawing me in. But as I sit to write about the last two weeks, I understand that the words more likely are what have been drawing me.
If you haven’t read my post of May 27, 2022, I wrote about the phrase “thoughts and prayers,” not from the standpoint of the mass shooting at Uvalde, but instead, a story about what I believe those words mean. My post is about a family in town who recently lost their son. I think it’s a nice post.
But I worried a bit before uploading it; the timing was off because of the shooting. I wrote and rewrote, hoping to make myself clear, and while I believe I succeeded, it still elicited responses about politicians using those exact words with no meaning behind them.
Let me try to condense what I could spend hours discussing. My childhood was a war zone. It also had its splendid moments. But the battlefield left me resistant to confrontation. Don’t get me wrong, I can hold my own. And when something means enough, I don’t hold back. But it takes a lot out of me when I step into that. It stays with me, lingers… festers. It’s a long process to find my way back to the peace of mind I’ve worked hard to achieve and cherish at 66 years of age.
I avoid politics like the plague; not something I typically write about. But this post brought me front and center with current political issues,; namely gun laws. After I let that simmer, I began to like that people were reaching back out with their comments and demands for reform. I thank Kurt for his brilliant response (check out my website to read his comments.)
It turns out my minor discomfort was worth the gain to help me find my voice. Without apology, being a San Francisco native growing up in the flower-power era, I’m a bleeding-heart liberal and always will be. Frankly, I wear that badge proudly. But I believe that being raised in the Bay Area during that time also came with learning to always be open to new ideas, differing ideas, and conflicting beliefs. It’s such a beautiful part of the San Francisco culture.
I actually support gun enthusiasts’ rights to bear arms. I think though that we need to reform our laws to protect our citizens and, sadly, our children. We can do this. We can write bills that work for all of us. We can come together as parents and siblings and children, gun enthusiasts, and flower children alike, write laws that make sense, and begin to implement a system that is moving toward a safer world for our children.
Will it resolve all of the problems? No. There will always be someone who can get their hands on a gun. But it can help us move in the right direction. We owe this to our children and ourselves.
I acknowledge that changing our gun laws is not the only answer. It’s only a part of the solution. The troubled avenger is also a victim in our current culture. No one is looking out for these individuals. In our quest for bigger better, we have lost sight of the suffering around us; and frankly the numbers defeat us. And if we do happen to notice, we decide it’s not our problem or our business.
But it is. I’m going to link a post I read recently that put things in perspective for me, Weeding Baby Wendell. It’s such a lovely read. I’m asking you to read a lot, but go with me on this one. I think you will be glad you did. The writer’s name is Stuart M. Perkins, and the link is https://storyshucker.wordpress.com/. I love everything he writes. He takes me back to what’s important.
To follow up on Stuart’s remarkable post, let me say that I rarely swear in my writing, but this problem we face isn’t that fucking hard if we can come together and quiet our egos. Let’s remember what made America great… differing views and the ability to learn from each other, balance, achieve, change, grow, and a reminder from Stuart, to help each other. Together we are a magical force.
We’ve been battered the last decade. Never doubt though that the fiber that binds us remains intact; it’s just a little tattered.
I hear you.
Please hear me.
I respect you.
Please respect me.
I have faith in you.
Please have faith in me.
I believe in equality for all.
Please believe with me.
I am my brother’s/sister’s keeper.
Please be mine.
I will always defend your rights.
Please defend mine.
Let’s remember who we are.
We are the United States.
I’m still proud to be an American citizen.
Please join me in remembering and moving back toward that amazing strength. Life is always about one step forward, two steps back, three steps forward. It’s a dance, a waltz, a jig. No shame in moving backwards to get the steps right.