Dust

pb-111009-guns-cannon.photoblog730It’s been almost 2 years since I wrote this post about guns.  In the first paragraph, though I was not writing specifically about the National Football League, I wrote this sentence:  Let’s talk about the NFL and guns. Two days later, Sandy Hook happened. The nation was outraged, screaming Something has to change!  And yet, when was the last time you heard anything about Sandy Hook?  Or gun control?  Or guns at all?

It’s been just one month since the full Ray Rice video came to light.  We were all so outraged, screaming Something has to change! And yet, when was the last time you heard the words Ray Rice? We are no longer even having the conversation. I see now that Roger Goodell was brilliant when he insisted that changes, important changes to league policy (whatever the that means), would be in place by … the Super Bowl. I’m imagining Roger lounging by the fire with his wife and daughters over the upcoming holidays, drinking some eggnog and making a toast, because 4 months, or even 4 minutes, from now our collective outrage will have collapsed in on itself and become dust.

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I read this essay by Carvell Wallace about Ferguson wherein he says, in part: And that’s the odd thing about life in 2014. We witness terrible things from comfortable places. Right now I’m drinking coffee out of a mug that says “dance like no one is watching” There is a fruit bowl with a pomegranate and two limes. And three mason jars filled with flowers that my kids picked for me and rosemary I bought from the organic grocery. That is where I’m sitting when I watch a man get shot.

There was another school shooting this morning.  (okay, make that 2 school shootings)

NFL Football topped all cable TV ratings last week.  They’re busy counting $$$$$$$$$$$$$.

The police chief in Ferguson, Missouri still has his job.

I think of my beautiful and beaten grandmother who, 60 years ago and 50 years ago and 40 years ago and 30 years ago, had no support and no resources and did not leave. I think of Janay Rice, of her limp unconscious body on the floor of that elevator; of Janay Rice who, this very day, has so many resources and does not leave.

Sometimes I think the reason we most want these women to leave is not to save themselves, but to save us from having to spend our days, our minutes, even thinking about them. These women know something we do not: they know, have always known, that we will move on, that we have already moved on, and all that’s left is dust.

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7 thoughts on “Dust

  1. donnaeve

    I guess the way I look at it is like this…, we can’t (shouldn’t) align ourselves, our indignation, our anger, our outrage, at the way the media chooses to report events. Events that twist us around an axle, yank us out of our day to day existence and make us gape in horror. Because, we know how we feel. We know we continue to support the ones who get hurt long after the media stops reporting.

    You are here talking about it, and sharing your perspective, and therefore, you are doing more than most. The Carvell Wallace piece is truth. “We witness terrible things from comfortable places.”

    In some ways, that sentence reminds me of parents and the influence of violent video games on their children, how they say it makes them immune to seeing bodies covered in blood, guns shooting the “enemy” a virtual panoramic view of murder. And then, the kids shut down their Xbox or DS3, or whatever they’ve got and go have some dinner.

    Except…, this is no game, and still, someone pulled the plug and moved on. But we remember.

    1. Teri Post author

      I hear you, Donnaeve … as always, I appreciate your words. I will add that the picture I had in my mind while writing this is of my grandmother or Janay Rice hearing us all scream “Why don’t you leave?! Come on! You can do it! We’re behind you!” and the image of them running out into the street in the middle of the night only to find it’s only dark, again, and no one’s there.

      1. donnaeve

        That gave me chills.

        It seems I have a story for every post of yours…sigh. So I did leave. And it was hard. A 2 1/2 year old, and an 18 month old. I had a new home I didn’t want to leave…things I’d worked for, but. BUT. Leave I did and it was dark for a while. I’m grateful for the centers that support these women – if only they can take that first step, no?

  2. joplingirl

    The ways and whys of women leaving when they find they have to leave—that’s the theme, guts, motive, nutmeat, of all I write. And it’s never easy. The leaving or the telling. Can’t tell you how many agents say, “can’t you have her stay.”

    1. Teri Post author

      Because, of course, “staying” is so much more dramatic … (I want to use the f word here, but am restraining myself)

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