Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Dark Day

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That gibberish up there is a result of me laying my head down on my keyboard and rolling it around from side-to-side. For the record, that's about as much energy as I feel like expending today.

It's a weird day, one where it almost feels like I'm walking around in a dream. A hurricane is on its way to my neck of the woods (or maybe just past my neck of the woods, I don't know, I'm not a meteorologist). His name is Joaquin, and I already hate him. In anticipation of his arrival, the wind has kicked up, the skies are just the weirdest grey, and the smallest, heaviest rain drops have been dropping on my face all day. It sort of feels like I'm being poked by nature.

I'm also bizarrely hungry. My stomach is just this bottomless pit right now. Or actually, not bottomless, I guess. It's more like there is some creature living inside of my body that is getting at the food before I can, sort of like my stomach is the sarlacc pit from Return of the Jedi.

And if I'm being honest, I'm also extremely emotional, tense, and easy-to-provoke today.

All of that being said, don't ask if I'm pregnant. I'm not.

And don't tell me Mercury is in retrograde. I don't know what that means.

It's just a rough day.

And the sarlacc stomach and ghostly weather aside, the truth is I know exactly why this particular day is getting the best of me.

But before I get into that, a disclaimer: I know that I usually talk about joyful stuff on this blog. Cats, cabin trips, chasing your dreams -- you know, stuff like that. So whenever shitty things happen in the world, things that I care about and things that really matter, I find myself torn. On one hand, this blog really is all about spreading positivity, so if it ever were to become a collection of political rants, I'd like for you all to demand that I leave the Internet. On the other hand, there are some things that just cannot be ignored.

Still, if you'd prefer to just stick to the cat-cabin-dream-loving aspects of this blog, now's the time to step out.

Anyway, look: something awful happened today. Something unforgivable and something that deserves to be talked about. It happened in Oregon where at least 10 college students were shot dead in their own school. Right now, families are receiving calls that their loved ones will never be returning home. It is a truly terrible day.

But of course, this is not the first tragic incident of this nature. Before today, in just the year 2015, this same sort of earth-shattering event occurred 293 times in various parts of the United States.

Mass shootings are honestly commonplace now. It's a problem that is well-documented as being unique to this country. No other developed country sees this specific type of violence on such a grand scale. I mean, the numbers are simply unbelievable. Since the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012, there have been 142 school shootings to date. That's 142 incidences where children and adults attempting to receive an education were victims of gun violence.

But nothing is changing. No solutions have been agreed-upon.

And now these tragic events are all sort of starting to blur together. As we mourn the loss of life today, we are unconvinced that we will not be in mourning again in the not-so-distant future. And to borrow a phrase from our president, we're becoming numb.

As much as our hearts should be full of prayer and sadness right now, and they are, I have to confess that my initial response in seeing the news about Oregon today was just outright anger. It's infuriating that these families have lost their loved ones today. It's infuriating that this sort of thing happens in houses of learning. It's infuriating that it happens anywhere, and it's infuriating to think that it could, and likely will, happen again.

And honestly, that's all I can say on the matter right now: I'm mad. Pissed, actually. And I am clinging to that emotion today because, the thing is, if I'm mad then I can't be numb. If we are angry enough, outraged enough, caring enough, then we can't sit and wait for this to happen again. We just can't.

So today I'm thinking a lot about what my responsibility is in all of this. And I have to admit: I'm not entirely sure. I know that many of you can sympathize with these feelings of helplessness on days like this.

But we can't lose hope. And we can't forget. As far as I can understand, that's our greatest responsibility right now: to remember. Remember Oregon. Remember Oregon to the point that it motivates us to hold those who represent us accountable. Remember Oregon until this unique, reoccurring tragedy ceases to reoccur.

It is a simple, but harsh truth: "Our thoughts and prayers are not enough."


  1. A beautifully accurate post. Could not agree more.

  2. Thanks for sharing, Christy. I agree with much of what you said. The one thing that I don't agree with is that "our thoughts and prayers are not enough." Our thoughts aren't enough, true. But our prayers can change the world. When we go to the Father and ask Him to do something about this, He can do what we never could. He can change hearts, move mountains, speak truth, do whatever is necessary. Prayer is the one thing we really can do that will change it all - changing our leaders, changing our hearts not to be numb, and changing those who commit these violent acts. We should never underestimate how much prayer can do and realize we can't control much, but we can go to the One who does.

  3. Great post Christy - this tragic event put me in a strange mood yesterday as well and I couldn't bring myself to watch any news reports or read any articles about what happened. My immediate reaction is/was pissed off and how this KEEPS happening! I certainly don't know that the perfect solution is, but I think a huge differentiator between the US and other developed countries is our lack of emphasis and supportive programs for mental health. Americans tend to think of mental health as just for "crazy people" who need to be medicated, but our society is void of understanding, compassion, and support for human emotions and emotional intelligence. We also depend on medical interventions for physiological issues more than other countries -- in many of these shootings the shooter is taking antidepressants, which have been documented to cause BOTH homicidal AND suicidal thoughts (they just don't mention that on the commercials). So I pray that our country can come together to solve this complex problem which we will never agree on but we must make an effort to resolve with compassion for both victims and perpetrators.

  4. I can't help but feel hopeless in light of this situation. I go to college. My friends are in college. Our younger siblings go to elementary school. Tomorrow, we could die by the hands of a gunman and what will people do? Nothing. We'll become a statistic. Anybody who would mourn and grieve us? Their pain will mean nothing. Foreigners will continue to think that America doesn't care about its citizens. People will continue to argue about gun rights. How have we become so numb as a country that this is no longer tragic? It's not tragic enough to actually incite action. I feel like we continue to put band-aids on the situation. Anybody who is actually trying to generate enough momentum for action to be taken is basically squashed and told that it's a lost cause. This is bullshit.

  5. well said, and I agree. We are becoming numb. Before, you could name all the school shootings. Every single person knew the names of the schools, the towns. Now, there are so many its impossible to remember them all. Only the most horrific get remembered and that;s such a terrible thing to realize. It needs to stop.


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