November 18, 2015
So many time this week I've tried to write a post about the recent tragic events in Paris. The words swirl around in my head but I just couldn't get them down on the page. Trying to make sense of a very senseless act has been difficult. I've never understood the rationale behind killing innocent people. I've never understood the desire to create conflict that ends in bloodshed. I've never understood how someone can wake up in the morning knowing that because of their actions, their grand plan, for many, it will be their last day on Earth. I've never understood the need to control others and the need for power. I've never understood the history. I've never understood war. I'm not sure I want to understand.
Maybe it's better I don't, for the act of trying to understand creates in me so much anxiety. I'm sure this is true for others right now, as we watch our world take sides on many conflicts, not just this one event.
I remember leaning about war when I was 10. I remember long discussions in the classroom about nuclear war and what our last days on this planet might look like. I remember learning about the Holocaust and the millions of people who died because of their beliefs. I remember my grandparents talking about how they lived during both World Wars. I remember crying myself to sleep at night, head tucked under the pillow to quiet my sobs, as I wished for more time to be a kid and a future to be an adult. I remember my parents saying the wars of the past were done and the wars of the future maybe would never come. But that didn't stop me from worrying at an age when innocence was still supposed to be present. It wasn't fair to have to think about such horrible times but it also did give me a sense of gratitude as a child, then as a teen and now as an adult that we are fortunate to live in a country that is peaceful and somewhat removed from the world of conflict.
At least for now.
I still have that gratitude. But I also have guilt. How can I enjoy a sunny day when someone else is mourning? How can I complain about the price of gas when someone else has nothing to eat? How can I be upset if someone cuts me off in traffic when someone else has to wonder if the next time they step outside their front door, will it be their last day to live? How can I be so selfish?
I'll never understand, I'll never stop worrying and I'll never stop remembering.
Tonight, I wish for world peace. Forgiveness and rebuilding. Community and support.
If only my wish could come true.