Holding space, Charleston.

When the world feels too loud, we must be quiet. When the world feels too violent, we must be peaceful. When the world seems evil, we must be good.

Glennon Doyle Melton

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve posted that quote in response to a mass shooting tragedy or act of unspeakable violence in recent years. I am honest to God sick of it. I am too sad to cry about this. Praying for the people of Charleston, the family and friends of the victims, and for, well, every damned one of us.

It certainly seems as though this shooting was an act of racism- which is vile, and should be condemned. I can’t help thinking, though, that ALL of these shootings are about other-ness, and disconnection. What is racism but ultimately deciding someone else is OTHER, and being so disconnected by that perceived other-ness that you see that someone else as less than you. Less than human.

I don’t know what the short term, logistical answers are- but I know down to my bones that the big picture answer lies in us recognizing that we really are all just walking each other home.

There will be time enough, in the days and weeks to come, to talk about the shooter.  To examine his past, and how he came to do this monstrous thing.  My friend Katherine just posted the victims’ names on Facebook.  I will ask you all to do what I asked of people in the wake of the marathon bombings.  Let us please all say their names out loud tonight, like a prayer.

Susie Jackson
Depayne Middleton
Daniel Simmons
Ethel Lee Lance
Myra Thompson
Tywanza Sanders
Cynthia Hurd
Sharonda Coleman-Singleton
Clementa Pinckney

3 Comments on “Holding space, Charleston.

  1. I’m not religious and as for prayer – well, that’s another discussion entirely. But, like you, I feel the rage and impotence, sorry and frustration because, yet again, our nation is grappling with another tragedy, another senseless — senseless!! — act of violence. You’ve described it very well, this other-ness and disconnection. I have no answers but sense that at some point (which, I cannot BELIEVE has not already passed given the brutality and ubiquity of so, so many of these tragedies, over and over and over again), something can and will be done. It just has to…


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