Full Moon Week

This week a woman I know—not a friend but someone I’ve worked with off and on in a loose way for seven years—died a violent death. And then a friend of mine had her house broken into and her little girl’s bedroom ransacked. And there is a rash of robberies going on in my neighborhood where three or five people not only threaten you with a gun and take your stuff, they also shove you to the ground and kick you in the head over and over. Between all this and the news on the radio about men flipping out and shooting people, I am worn out from spending the week envisioning violence.

I keep thinking that there had to have been—at some point—something someone could have done to stop it. A person doesn’t just go from normal mentally well peaceful citizen to causing awful harm on purpose in one giant step, do they? People around them must see, must have seen. Even people on the edges of their lives must have seen hints but not been sure or not wanted to interfere or just not known what to do.

It makes all of life seem scary, not because of all the danger that the bad guys make, but because we are so fragile and so entrusted to each other, and we are often so lame at seeing what’s really needed, and even worse at sticking our necks out and helping.

Anyway, I’m exhausted, and rather than do anything useful I am baking a chocolate cake, and am going to sit on the couch and knit something soft, and then go to bed early.

Peace to you and yours.

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6 thoughts on “Full Moon Week

  1. Some societies are much more violent than others, so I think you are right–there are all kinds of ways that violent people were made that way. A few people will be violent no matter what their advantages, and a few will be peaceful despite all manner of adversity, but the vast majority of us are in the middle there somewhere. We can’t always save ourselves or others from experiencing violence, but we can make sure the world has more peace in it because we were here. I tell myself (and my kids, in a more tame version) that constantly, especially when I’m feeling like you are, and then I try to find a way to make that happen, however small. You are a peaceful person, raising peacemakers. Besides the common-sense safety measures (especially having a dog!), it’s all we can really do. Personally, I also think that means actively seeking peace and resisting violence with other people, including in our speech and actions, not just around physical violence. Our neighborhood has had a lot of burglaries and muggings lately, and a lot of comments on the neighborhood listserv have been along the lines of “these people should be taken out to a field and shot” and “these worthless thugs will never change and should rot in a cold jail cell for the rest of their lives”. We live in a terribly violent society, and both the crime and those comments are evidence of that. I’ve been to a couple of block club meetings and neighborhood meetings after violent incidents, and I don’t think I’ll ever do that again–I take my faith and the words of Jesus (not proselytizing here –just being honest) too seriously to find comfort in “us vs. them”. Hate by law-abiding people is still hate, and it has a cost. Loving your enemies is truly counter-cultural despite this being a so-called “Christian Nation”, but I find tremendous hope in that idea, and while it doesn’t necessarily help me feel safe all the time, it does give me a good measure of deep peace. I really can love the person who mugged me and the person who burgled my apartment years ago, and hope that somehow they can be a peaceful part of our world someday.
    Forgive the rambling, and I’m sorry that violence has touched your life so much this week. Chocolate is always a good response.

  2. I’ve been trying to think of something appropriate to say, but I can’t. Just that I’m sorry that anyone has to experience the violence, and that it is coming so close to you right now.

  3. Oh, my goodness. what a firestorm of sh** happening.

    My dh and I were talking the other day about this very thing. He is struggling with how to explain to our kids that “there is evil in the world”–not something I personally believe. But then he asked me to explain what it is, then, that causes people to flip out completely and do unspeakable, horrible things. I’m still trying to come up with a coherent answer.

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