There are no words in the face of tragedy. No words to fully express the confusing mix of horror and love and anger. No words to change the terrible past. There are no words.
And yet, I find I am left with little else. I’ve no response but to love, to speak out, and to act.
I am not powerless; these are my tools.
But I’ve written this post too many times, seen too many good people die, seen too much violence against our most vulnerable communities.
We can and should pass an an assault rifle ban, but that is not enough. Like most civilized countries, we should limit access to firearms – but we must also change our culture of violence and hate.
50 people died in an attack targeting the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender communities. And yet LGBTQ people are being straight-washed from the story by elected officials who have continually and vocally denounced this community. By elected officials who may very well continue to spew homophobic hate after the requisite moment of public grieving has passed.
Meanwhile, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, managed to deftly ignore both the LGBTQ victims and the U.S.-born perpetrator, choosing to highlight in his statement: “We are a nation at war with Islamist terrorists.”
It is all of it too much.
I can’t stomach the hate.
As I try to make sense of this senseless situation, as I grope for some sanity in this mad world, I find I am left with little but a deep, profound love for every living being. Yet, as many before have pointed out, that is not enough. So, I am full of love, yes, but full, too of a certain divine dissatisfaction; a need to keep working until the work is done; until we’ve collectively put aside hate and violence and found a way to simply love, to embrace our collective humanity.
I’m afraid this is little to offer in the face of such an insurmountable task, but this is what I can do. Love, speak, and act – those are my tools.
And there is so much left to do.