Writing Wednesday: Writing About Something Else in Times of Public Tragedy.

Yesterday, I get breakfast prepared, lay out the evil thing that is the newspaper amid the bananas and orange juice and oatmeal and coffee in a cute owl shaped mug and, when Babu emerges from the bathroom, I tie an apron around her waist and push in her chair.  She settles in and looks down at the paper.

She reads the headline.  “19 dead!”  I don’t talk to her about it.

I sat at the table and unlike some days I had no post scheduled.  So I write about 1938.  About her boys and her friends and horseback riding and a hurricane that happened 80 years ago.

It was a cheerful post.  It was a post like an ostrich in the sand.

I watch Babu as she half sleeps at the table, chewing her food synchronized with the ticking clock.  She’s not her usual self.  I can’t help but blame that fucking newspaper.  That fucking psycho who has caused all of this carnage, this hurt.  I usually distract with the most insane, goofy cheer.  Bring in kittens or my dog or flowers or pictures.  Today I’m having trouble thinking of what to say to her.  Hoda and Kathy Lee are on the TV tearing up and then switching topic on a dime.  They have to.  We all have to.

I am a blogger and I have less, way less than, 2,000 followers.  Probably less then 1000 if you discount all the fake blogs and people tying to sell me things.  People who actually read my blog on a monthly basis?  Probably less than 50.  Nevertheless, I feel that every time I write, even in the privacy of my own journal, every time any writer writes, there is a heavy weight of responsibility.  To be true.  To write it true.  To shine lights into darkness.  So was I refusing to face the world yesterday?  Using the excuse of staying on the topic of the blog?  Sure, I was.  Lately, it feels like I can’t halt progress on Babu’s story every time some terrible attack happens.  This would no longer be a blog about Babu.

But I’m also not about exploiting the tragedy to get views, to have a timely blog.  “Hashtag read about my take on this tragedy.”  That is why I wont put this in the tags on this post.  I don’t feel like being that person today.

Maybe I could write something poignant to soothe the soul of even one reader.  Maybe I need it for myself.

But I don’t know what to say.  What package is there to wrap this in?  So, with that in mind, is it better or worse that I have said anything at all?

 

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11 Comments Add yours

  1. I believe we are all feeling the same way. It’s difficult to make sense from the senseless. We simply have to do the best we can to carry on and learn. Be well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Be well. And thank you for these words.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. karen says:

    We had the awful task of telling out 88 year old in laws the news. They no longer read newspapers or listen to the radio. They look to us to be their window on the world. How sad we felt trying to explain what had happened. Perhaps it would have been better not to say anything, but then, they might have seen/ heard something later and the shock would have been worse. We try to protect them now from such things. Such a sad day. But we all agreed we must keep hopeful that goodness, kindness and compassion will win in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for these words. If kindness doesn’t win in the end, I think we will find it has been here throughout. Let’s hold onto it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hard hard times we are sharing. On 9/11/2001 I was actually thankful my mother had died ten months previously. It’s difficult to spare someone from the pain the world brings. And sometimes it’s impossible to put into words the inner suffering we all share in times like these.

    It’s good you shared that frustration with us. We are all feeling it. Healing thoughts to you and Babu and for all of us struggling with the senseless acts of hatred around us that are becoming far too common.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sometimes when awful things happen, I feel moved to write about them. Sometimes I don’t. Not because I’m not moved but because I don’t know what to say or I can’t fit my feelings into something that would make sense to other people. I’m grateful for the people who, even in the wake of a tragedy, share other parts of their world ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. estellalynch says:

    Beautifully written post–tender, justly peppered with justified anger and the poignancy of your writing resonates. I am a big fan of your blog, reading your reflections and words…even more so when reading this post.

    Peace and well wishes, Estella

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow. Thank you so much.

      Liked by 1 person

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