When I was a child, I would put on my overalls, slide a screwdriver and socket wrench into the right tool pocket, and hitch a hammer into the left side strap. I would go out to my squeaky swing set and “fix it.” I would turn the screws, loosen and tighten the bolts, then hammer things that look like they needed to be hammered. I was much older when I learned about stripped screws, rusty washers, and hammers are for both creation and destruction.
When we put Sam, my childhood dog, down, I held her and cried for an hour, trying to hold onto some semblance of soul I knew that she had. I didn’t look at, talk to, or like dogs for ten years after that. I wanted to “fix her.” I wanted to fix her cancer. I wanted to fix her bones. I wanted her whole.
When I was in high school, I had so much emotion inside of me. I didn’t know what or who I was. I wanted to “fix me.” I drove down a scary path of self-hatred. I wanted to fix my external self in hopes that my internal self would calm the hell down. I wanted to fix how I loved. I wanted to fix the world around me, so I could feel safe in my own skin.
I want to “fix” things. I want to fix how the world treats my Trans* brothers and sisters. I want to fix the healthcare system. I want to fix systemic oppression. I want to fix hatred. I want to fix.
A human being walked into a synagogue and killed eleven people. Eleven. Eleven souls were on Friday morning and were not on Saturday. As Shabbat came to a close, so did the lives—no, the light—of eleven people.
I haven’t read a single article on this. I can’t. There is too much. There have been too many lives lost and too little action on the part of our leaders. This is not to say that I do not grieve for the fallen. This is not to say I do not hold their families in my heart. Because I am a gentile, I cannot sit shiva for these eleven people. But, Lord, I can mourn.
I am so sad. I am mad. I am…apathetic. I am smapathetic. There are CLEAR ways to prevent this kind of thing from happening. The second amendment as it is currently interpreted should not be a right; it is a fucking privilege. You know what is a right? Being able to go into your house of worship and not get shot. You know what is a right? Feeling safe in schools. You know what is a right? Life. I am pro-life, by which I mean pro-living—living for myself, living for others, living for a greater good.
I cannot fix this. I care too deeply. I love too fiercely. I have nothing left with which to mourn. All I can do is try to teach my young people that love is greater than hate. But, I am flagging. When hatred always seems to win, how can I look my young people in the eye and promise them a better world? How can I promise them that “it will get better?” How can I promise them anything, anything at all?