I feel schizophrenic. I write lovely blogs about gelato and feel superficial and miserable. I overdoes on serious news and feel depressed and miserable. It's a no win situation. I keep trying to find a good balance between engagement and self-preservation and keep coming up short. So I hope those of you who rolled your eyes (like I wanted to do) at my last blog post will forgive my inconsistency. When I try to write from the heart right now I feel split in two... schizophrenic.
One post I read recently really connected with what I am feeling so I thought I would pass it along. It was by one of my favorite bloggers, Chris Guillebeau. Titled- Reading the News Makes Me Depressed, but Here's What I Realized.... It posits that there is a direct relationship between someone's level of privilege and their ability to disconnect from politics. It is a point that keeps coming back to me in different ways. On NPR I heard an author, Michael Eric Dyson, speaking about his newly released book, Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America. A call to action on the part of white America, I find myself struck with some of the points he made; particularly his point about how different our fears are. On any day the thing I am most afraid of is getting a call from school about my daughter. But for black Americans, Dyson points out that the answer to this is, honestly, the fear of being pulled over and harmed (shot) by a police officer. The scale is so completely different it is no wonder my reaction is to close down and back off.
So what can we do? How do I balance this real desire for justice and honesty and authenticity with my own lack of understanding and call to action? I don't think I'll be out there posting angry blogs about my feelings, nor witty comments along the lines of SNL. Instead, I feel I need to take a slower, more personal approach of curiosity. I find I have less to say, than I do to learn.
So Thursday, when I received my copy of it from Amazon, I am going to begin reading a new book on the history of legalized self-defense in America: Stand Your Ground: A History of America's Love Affair with self-defense. It was written by Caroline E. Light, a brilliant legal historian at Harvard, and I am proud to say, a friend of mine. If you'd like to read and discuss it also, comment below and I'll create a separate password and civility protected page where we can begin to learn and grow together.
Here's to all of our journeys.... whether they be filled with gelato or NPR.