Posted by: morrowsl | July 9, 2016

Finding Equilibrium

A cardinal is perched in the bush just outside my window and is furiously “tick, tick, ticking” away.  There has been no fresh seed in any of the feeders since hot weather set in.  I am trying to avoid having fat lazy birds hanging around the yard while the flower heads spill their seeds all over this concrete jungle we call a city.  I am “bird friendly” but I believe they still need to know how to eat when I’m not around.

Outside, parked a bit too close to the curb and being partially washed in the sprinklers, is a U-Haul truck filled with all of the trappings of my husband’s Oklahoma City Man Cave.  As soon as the truck wash is complete, I’ll go out and throw open the door and commence returning my spouse to the home he’s been mostly absent from for over a decade.  He is in somewhat-retirement.  Which is like semi-retirement, only he’s already getting offers from other companies who are aware of the magnitude of his fifty years of aviation experience.  He is weighing his options.  And none of those include even one more day in an apartment two hundred miles north.

Half an hour from here, in the sweet little two-bedroom apartment my mother has called home for almost twenty years, my grandson is warting the hell out of his great-aunt B about when his mom will come for him, what games Aunt B will allow him to download on her tablet, and why they can’t do any of the one million things he’d rather be doing at any particular moment.  Because he is nine.  And the world for him consists of entertainment and food.  Not always in that order.

About a mile farther south, in an equally sweet little house surrounded by years of my sister’s green thumb efforts, my niece and brother-in-law are recovering from a night that included a seizure for him and an induction-by-fire nursing effort for her.  The seizures are nothing new.  Doing it alone, without her mom or brother to help, is.  And she is the one person who, if his wife can’t be with him when he seizes, my brother-in-law would prefer having care for him.

And, somewhere in the city, five families are making funeral arrangements for their loved one, who woke up and went to work on Thursday, just like all the work days that came before.  And never came home again.

Already, the world is moving on.

Social media is filled with commentary and memes and photos and videos and all the other “things” that people use to express their feelings, now that we all live on the WWW.  News media is filling the airwaves with expert commentary and hours of street reporter’s efforts to violate the personal spaces of those involved to wring out and capture all of the ratings-rich emotional moments that surround such catastrophic events.  City lights are turning blue to show a united support on behalf of the police force.  People are jumping onto soapboxes and pounding on podiums and telling us all what it’s going to take to be united in a city torn asunder by an act of violence so huge, we are finally going to be known for something even more heinous than the killing of a President.

It is so easy to declare that the world has gone “mad” and we are destined at last to all burn in Hell together.  Even easier still to like a few Facebook posts that may or may not say something similar to how you feel about what has happened here.  And, easiest of all, most will wake up this morning and have breakfast and watch the news or surf the net or do whatever it is they do to be “informed”, because we should all be informed.  And then they will simply go about their Saturday doing whatever it is they had planned to do this Saturday.  They may mull over the things they’ve seen.  They may even resolve to do a better job at smiling at the cop who always sits just around the corner in the shade waiting to stop someone for a traffic violation.

Eventually, the five dead men will be forgotten by all, save those who loved them.  Because, that’s what we do now.  That’s how we handle these things.  We cry and get sick to our stomachs and worry that our own little piece of paradise has somehow been disrupted.  We view the events from a “what if that had been me” point of view and worry that we shouldn’t attend rallies or parades or otherwise gather.  We weigh the options of trying to do something valid to gain equality for every human soul.  But then, our lives interfere and we’re forced to go back to having it easy.

I have avoided the news because I have such an aversion to being force fed the bullshit news media insists on serving.  I refuse to get sucked into their ratings wars by videos of crying family members and caskets and a lone piper playing Amazing Grace.  I am not a fan of those who push in on private matters and then wear the grief of others like a garment.  I know how to be sad for someone without having to first watch them collapse under the weight of their own personal grief.  And I just will not be party to the circus that always comes to town when hatred spills over and destroys all it comes into contact with.

We all have work to do.  We all need to stop seeing color as a divider, regardless of what color we are.  We all need to help whenever and wherever help is needed and not just when it doesn’t disrupt our Saturday plans.  We have to stop blaming those around us and start blaming ourselves.

I did watch the initial news conference held by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Dallas Police Chief David Brown.  Mike turned on the news as soon as I told him what had happened after we left for Oklahoma on Thursday.  It was hard to watch Chief Brown.  The irony of his position wasn’t lost on me.  He is a man of color.  He is the man at the top of an organization sworn to serve the community.  He is a man who was reeling in the wake of the slaughter of men under his jurisdiction at an event to peacefully protest and unite against the slaughter of men of color.  And yet, he chose his words well and delivered them with a calm reserve.  He was doing his work.  He was telling us all that we have to unite as a people.  Not people divided by color or religion or belief.

“We don’t feel much support most days.  Let’s not make today most days.”
David Brown


  1. You just have such a way of saying what I’m feeling but can’t put into words, Sher! One of the many things I love about you.

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