So many people I love are grief-stricken, not sleeping, disoriented, afraid, crying a lot. It feels almost unbearable.
I've been trying to recall how long it was before the 2001 terrorist attacks came to be known as "9/11." Because I haven't know what to call what happened on Tuesday. For now, I'll just call it "Tuesday." Tuesday shares with 9/11 a sudden sense of immediate danger, uncertainty, a reminder that we are targets, that we are not safe. Within the space of a few minutes, the world changed irrevocably and we are traumatized.
It occurs to me that maybe Tuesday was such a blow because we had grown to have unreasonable expectations. Things were going so well. After electing Obama 8 years ago and having in the White House someone who resembled us, someone who imagined a better world like the better world we imagined, who, though he couldn't make everything better in 8 years, at least understood the questions, expressed easy sympathy with our struggles, we thought the world was changing faster than it actually was. Working for a more just world turned into expecting a more just world in our lifetimes. How selfish we were.
I wonder if the only way out of this awful sadness it to recommit to the work of making a better world, not because it's possible to make things better for us, but because a better world is possible.