“The sun is setting on a century,
and we’re armed to the teeth.
We are all working together now
to make our lives mercifully brief…”
They say the world will end this week. With the rush of winter and the holiday season suddenly having stumbled so quickly in our midst, it has hardly felt like any time has passed, and yet ages have passed. This time is a strange limbo between the start of the incessant Christmas music on the radio and actual Christmas day, which always looms ahead like the overdone flashing lights of some neighbors’ yards, and which, for me, always arrives quiet as a feather, unnoticeable as those dark houses which haven’t cared to partake in the seasonal decorations.
Normally the news never affects me too much as to write about it during the drowsy hours of night, but this time around it was different. I just couldn’t let those heavy thoughts which have lingered over the weekend be lost in another night’s sleep. Of course, what has been on everyone’s mind has also pecked away at mine. Even though, like in all families, losses in the extended family have been felt over the course of our lives, I am lucky to say that I’ve never suffered the trauma of an immediate death of someone inextricably close to me.
In recent years, I’ve heard of one too many tragic accidents, the untimely deaths of children as well as adults my age, people who I knew or met, grew up with or heard stories about, being suddenly and unjustly taken from the world. I couldn’t even begin to, with all my powers of imagination, fathom that loss — of your flesh and blood, of someone who bore you into this world, of a sibling, of someone so tiny, vulnerable, and good, which you had the privilege of bringing up to the best of your abilities.
I’m saddened by the strife we as a nation have to endure repeatedly. I’m saddened that indeed we are not, have not even begun to progress towards any solution to this depravity. I’m disillusioned by the priorities that some continue to place first and foremost in their lives — selfishly, brutishly, unrelentingly. I’m angered that a mindset so thoroughly wrong and misled can influence the direction of an entire country. I’m bewildered that someone can use God and gun in the same train of thought. And I’m utterly disappointed that so many people are not to be reasoned with, are so plainly ignorant to the real evils that they endorse in the name of country that they simply will not listen, will not even see.
This is the nature of humanity, which is still so un-evolved, so unwilling to evolve. I’ve lost all faith in change. I don’t believe that goodness and reason will prevail if selfishness, greed, violence, and corruption masquerade under the guise of freedom, safety, God, and nation. In a country that is truly free, we feel safe without having to arm ourselves to the teeth, and the rights of others do not infringe upon our safety. The freedom from fear, from violence, from death, is everyone’s right. Our values and the courage to stand up for them seem to be lost with those defenseless young children. I’m too exhausted to be angry, too disappointed to fight. And above all, I’m heartbroken for those who died so suddenly, so cruelly, so without reason. May you rest in peace.
“…And if I hear one more time
about a fool’s rights
to his tools of rage,
I’m gonna take all my friends
and I’m gonna move to Canada,
and we’re gonna die of old age.”