It was forty-six years ago that Marvin Gaye was wondering what the fuck was going on. People were coming back (or not coming back) from Vietnam having suffered terribly, drug-use was peaking, and police-brutality was a common response to young activists. But what’s forty-six years? There has been suffering, fighting, hate, and a whole lot of what in the living fuck is going on for centuries; since the beginning of man, there has been war. I’m no expert on history. Ask me when WWI broke out: It’s a guarantee I’ll have the facts wrong. For a good portion of my twenties, it wasn’t just history that I lacked an understanding of: it was current events (which I’m still NO EXPERT on- everyday I have to read more about “Brexit” because it’s so hard for me to understand). As I’ve previously posted about, I didn’t follow the news. People condoned my behavior, “you’re better off, there’s nothing good to read anyway. It’s all so negative and fear-driven.” It still never sat right with me that I wasn’t following what was happening in the world at large- maybe because I have always been surrounded by people- intellectually well-bred New Yorkers – that knew everything. I found myself on the outside, sort of… stumped. Maybe it was that I didn’t want to know, or maybe it was just a maturity thing. But I have a hunch that I had too much personal garbage to sort through and recycle before I could see the impressive mountain of garbage that lied just a foot away from the tip of my nose. Strangely, getting sick, healing from the inside out, gave me space to see beyond just ME. I started following. The “breaking-news” updates were popping up in my email in rapid succession: “this murder, that murder, another murder, dead, dead, death, shoot up, guns, guns, gunman kills x number of people..” I sat down with Jason one night at a cafe in Los Angeles, “I feel so powerless,” I said, “I want to do something, but I guess we can’t really DO anything- do you feel that way?” Jason, wise and calm, said, “Well no actually. I did my research, and I found a foundation for gun-control that I donate to monthly.” Inspiration struck. Imagine that? I can DO something. This post isn’t much of anything: I have no links for you to donate to, and I have no new information for you. All I have here is compassion and all I ask is that, if you read this, you take a second to recognize and fully meet the pain that is out there. I personally CANNOT write another ANYTHING without simply acknowledging what is going on.
I do not want to hide from the news because it’s frightening and “negative.” I feel that I owe victims around the world the respect to acknowledge their suffering. There is a tremendous amount of suffering. Three people were killed in Oregon today, June 27th, two were killed yesterday in different states, and another two the day before in Texas. I had to go searching for that information; they didn’t make the headlines because they’re not famous and because “3” isn’t close to the 41 killed in Turkey, or the 49 that were killed a couple of weeks ago in Orlando. It feels like there’s no time to remember the victims of Paris, San Bernardino, Brussels, UCLA, Oregon, and holy shit ETC. It’s SO MUCH.
Yes, it’s common knowledge that too many people are dying at the hand of guns, AND too many people want to kill- to excess. Too many people are losing family members; children and parents. OK- so we unload that ton of garbage that is currently sitting on the surface, and then there lies the corruption in Washington, crisis in Eastern Europe, the Rohingya people, rape, violence towards women, starving children, hate crimes, racism, the environment, the food industry, the people who are dying because they can’t pay their medical bills, poisoned water, natural disasters,spreading viruses, homelessness, mental illness, and etc. Etc because I don’t know where it ends.
I went to a 3 hour loving-kindness mediation sit yesterday afternoon. I went because all of the proceeds went to Oneorlando. I went because I needed to sit in a space where I could acknowledge what’s going on, meet it, send love, and process my own fear and sadness (which, by the way, is also very real). No, I don’t necessarily think it reverberated out into the world or anything, but it certainly didn’t harm anyone. One of my greatest obstacles in being sick has been the resentment that comes up around people who are dismissive of the illness, the pain. People who are so scared of it, they abandon ship, or ignore me, as though I am contagious. I want to just say to whoever I can, whoever is suffering: I see you. There’s no problem too small or too big, you are seen, your pain is valid, and it is my responsibility to do what I can, when I can. It is my responsibility to give love, compassion, money, or service. THE BEST PART? There’s space for all of it. I can see the darkness and the light. There’s pain, but there is always an abundance of beauty. So, yeah, the news might really suck A WHOLE LOT OF ASS these days, but I’d rather experience this life as one, as a community in the greatest sense of the word. I want to have each others’ backs.
HONESTLY, it’s just nice that I’m finally slightly relieved from the deep obsession with myself. We are all a little relieved about that.
What’s going on is not a new question and the worldwide devastation is nothing new either. But I think about that song, and it did it’s part to spread love and compassion. Maybe it changed someone’s life. Maybe it changed someone’s mind. Ian and I went to see Toots & The Maytals last week, and they dedicated the show to Orlando- it was beautiful and I watched hundreds of people hold space for ALL of the victims. We can all do a little bit of what those musicians do. Whatever is going on- I love you.
With so much love for all of you out there and, of course, holding space for the fun, too,