Tuesday, August 05, 2014

What I don't want to write about

I don't want to write about the war between Gaza and Israel.
I don't want to write about the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I don't want to write about guns and bombs and shootings.
I don't want to write about airplane crashes or planes being shot out of the sky.
I don't want to write about the fact that an airplane full of passengers has been missing for months.
I don't want to write about the school girls that were taken from their school more than 100 days ago.

I don't want to write about refugees fleeing bandits and soldiers.
I don't want to write about corrupt government officials and the ways they take advantage of the people under their care.

I don't want to write about thousands of Central American children entering this country by themselves and turning themselves into border control officers.
I don't want to write about what they must feel when they are screamed at and threatened in a language they don't understand.
I don't want to write about how terrible their prospects must be for their parents to send them on a journey of hundreds of miles by themselves.

I don't want to write about child abuse, sexual trafficking, and incest.
I don't want to write about missing children or kidnapped children.
I don't want to write about children with kanswer or autism or diabetes.
I don't want to write about children with special needs.
I don't want to write about abortion.
I don't want to write about the ebola virus either.

I don't want to write about loneliness, anger, disappointment and abandonment.
I don't want to write about separation, divorce, and widowhood.
I don't want to write about infidelity, emotional or physical.
I don't want to write about arguments and disagreements, insults and sarcasm.
I don't want to write about the effect of broken relationships on all of us.

I don't want to write about job loss and chronic unemployment.
I don't want to write about bankruptcy, unpaid medical bills and credit card debt.
I don't want to write about the burden of second mortgages and school loans.
I don't want to write about foreclosure or being upside down on the mortgage.
I don't want to write about retirees whose retirement funds were stolen from them.

I don't want to write about watching a loved one die of a debilitating illness.
I don't want to write about the shock of hearing a terrible diagnosis.
I don't want to write about having to decide between two or more horrific courses of treatment.
I don't want to write about odds of survival.
I don't want to write about chances of recurrence.

I don't want to write about mental illness.
I don't want to write about addiction.
I don't want to write about anorexia.
I don't want to write about obsession.
I don't want to write about borderline personality disorder.

I don't want to write about wildfires, floods, typhoons, drought, and tropical storms.
I don't want to write about poverty and homelessness.
I don't want to write about hunger and the inability to feed one's children.
I don't want to write about women who are forced to have children they cannot provide for or take care of.

I don't even want to think about those things. About deep and long-term suffering, especially when those who suffer are children. But I think about those things a lot. I wonder how mothers of the missing maintain hope. I wonder how difficult it must be to walk away from a marriage. I wonder about the anorexic woman I saw at the bagel shop this morning - truly the thinnest adult my son and I have ever seen. I was glad that she was ordering a bagel and that the man behind the counter seemed to recognize her. I wonder about the family of someone I know with borderline personality disorder and how difficult their lives must be. I wonder what it feels like to lose control of your thoughts and emotions, to spiral into a manic episode or descend into depression. I wonder what mothers do when they send their children to bed with empty stomachs. I wonder about the doctors and nurses, therapists and hospice caregivers who care for the living, who comfort the dying, and who must maintain courage and strength to do it all again.

I wonder about the things I don't want to write about. I cry about those things.
I send small amounts of money to various places to try to ease suffering.
I volunteer at a food pantry twice a month.
I pray about those things - and the millions, the billions of people suffering.
I pray for peace, for comfort, for the love of friends and family,
for an end to war, for the willingness to lay down weapons and work for peace,
and I pray desperately that there are people who can give more money and more time
than I do helping those in need.

I want to believe that there is progress being made towards the resolution of some of these crises.
All of these crises. All of the world's problems. All of my own problems.
But I don't want to write about them.

1 comment:

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