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Enough

We need more than thoughts and prayers.

This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.

~ Walt Whitman

We need more than wishes.

In the United States the legacy of settler colonialism can be seen in the endless wars of aggression and occupations; the trillions spent on war machinery, military bases, and personnel instead of social services and quality public education; the gross profits of corporations, each of which has greater resources and funds than more than half the countries in the world yet pay minimal taxes and provide few jobs for US citizens; the repression of generation after generation of activists who seek to change the system; the incarceration of the poor, particularly descendants of enslaved Africans; the individualism, carefully inculcated, that on the one hand produces self-blame for personal failure and on the other exalts ruthless dog-eat-dog competition for possible success, even though it rarely results; and high rates of suicide, drug abuse, alcoholism, sexual violence against women and children, homelessness, dropping out of school, and gun violence.

~ Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Nearing the end.

Have we all had enough yet?  Or are we waiting for something more?  I wondered that last week after the mass shootings in Buffalo and now I am wondering it again this week after 19 children (and 2 teachers) were killed in Uvalde, Texas.  When is enough really enough?  How many more children, women, and BIPOC have to die before we reach that magic number of Enough?  This is not meant to be a rhetorical or a sarcastic question.  I honestly want to know.  Maybe the answer is that there will never be Enough.  Maybe the answer is that we place little or no value on life when compared to the value we place on the right to bear arms.

It’s not just children, women, and BIPOC, you know.  How about all those white folks killed and injured in Vegas in 2017?  I don’t suppose that was enough, either.

Rotting underneath.

I’m not at all sure why millions of us aren’t already camped out on the steps of the Capitol demanding change.  Not a march, but an occupy.  Stay until the wastrels on the Hill do their fucking jobs.  Frankly, I’m not sure even that would work.  I’m beginning to think the only possible solution is to stop contributing to the corporations that are supporting the violence and the politicians.  Not a small boycott of a couple of companies, but a sort of general strike.  Stop spending money on anything other than absolute necessities (and get those locally when you can).  Cut off the profits and see what happens.  The way things are going, the economy might be tanking anyhow.  Maybe we can get something out of it before that happens.

Of course it’s easy for me to say/write.  It’s also privileged of me in many ways.  There are many, many people out there who are barely making ends meet.  They are already not spending money on anything other than absolute necessities.  We would need to follow the example of the farmers’ strike in India (or other general strikes) in which the communities come together to support each other (so that those who have can support those who have not).

Still, there is beauty.

I don’t have the wherewithal to organize such a massive undertaking.  I don’t even know if it would be possible to do in this country.

I’ve been thinking about buying a new camera.  My current camera and lenses are not working well, and require a lot of fiddling to get the photos to come out halfway decent so that I can do the rest of the fixing via Photoshop.  No matter.  I’m not going to buy the camera.  The money is there, but it would be better spent if I donate to groups that are doing the work that is important to me.  The only question now is whether it would be best to spread the money across several groups or split it between two.

It’s a start.  Only a start.  But I have to start somewhere.

So much beauty.

I also think it’s time I put my body out there.  What is the point of living a longer life if I’m not going to do whatever I can to make this a safer place for my grandchildren, their children, and their children’s children?  What is the point of living this longer life just sitting at home, keeping myself safe?  What kind of ancestor will I be if I don’t do something?

I don’t know what my future actions will be.  I’m looking into it, inward and outward. This weekend will be spent with a family member who could use some help after having had surgery a a couple of weeks ago.  After that, I’m going to see what I can do, be where maybe I can help make some kind of difference.

Because I’ve had Enough.  Maybe you have had Enough, too?

Looking inward, for now.

The weeks after these shootings have a familiar pattern: news outlets describe the shooter; law enforcement searches for a “motive.” The immediate motive behind such shootings is usually hatred of people’s skin tone, hatred of religious differences, hatred of classmates, loose hatred in an unstable mind. But the motive behind the motive is gun profiteering. Behind the sense of safety & power your guns give you—& what manipulates you into rejecting commonsense limitations on weapons—is corporate money made at the expense of the safety of your children. You who hate government, have been made fools of.

~ Brenda Hillman, Dear American Gun Owner: When is Enough?

Finding the path and the light.

Author:

Robin is... too many things to list, but here is a start: an artist and writer; a photographer and saunterer; a daughter and sister and granddaughter; a friend, a partner, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother; a gardener, a great and imaginative cook, and the creator of wonderful sandwiches.

7 thoughts on “Enough

  1. Robin, a thoughtful and passionate post. Thank you for expressing what many likely wish to say and don’t. That is part of the problem. We are not speaking, clearly, our truth about these sad and heinous situations which continue to unfold before our eyes. I am buoyed a bit by Beto O’Rourke speaking up at a pompous news conference with the Texas governor, et.al. They are not worth a mention here for they are complicit. I encourage everyone to speak up. I sent messages today to two Senators – one from my state and one to the Senator from KY who continues to control and prevent votes from passing the necessary laws to, at least begin, emphasis on begin, making essential change in this country. Thank you for speaking up and speaking out. Be well and care for yourself. It is, many times, all we can offer and it’s as important as anything else. We must start there. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Carrie. ❤ I just saw the video of Beto, and I hope we start to see more and more and more of that. You’re right. Not speaking up is part of the problem. And thank you for doing something.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Robin, I can so understand your anger. When, you ask? When it hits home. When it’s one of their children or grand-children (or any other kin) in a classroom, in a movie theatre, in a grocery story. They – the powers that be – are so far removed from the little people they don’t push for the smart things. The regulations needed, the accessibility being restricted, the culpability to all those involved in the end action: from the gun seller, to the parents who defend their bully children, to the school personnel who are notified of a student’s intentions and still do nothing about it.. I could go on. I’m not even American and I feel so much anger about this. Yes. They need to do their fucking job. Or lose it.

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  3. I agree. People are elected to get stuff done and there’s been years and years of not getting stuff done, even stuff not as critical as what we are dealing with now. We need to vote them out. Every one of them that are holding up constructive discussion, policy change, and the thoughtful generation of ideas.

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    1. PS: I vote you split your available funds between the two groups you think are doing the right things. Every little bit helps for each group. Than maybe write about the groups so others, who are looking for places to support, can send something too.

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  4. With our government as it currently is, with our society as it currently is, I have little hope that this is “enough”. Each of the 212 (or is it now 213) mass shootings has been proclaimed as “enough”, yet here we are, with Texas eliminating restrictions on guns and our congress expressing anger and sorrow and then going on about their business – which, I think, is increasing their personal power and gain. Certainly it is not listening to the majority of the people or abortion would not be at risk of being outlawed and an 18-year old boy could not go purchase two AR-15 rifles without difficulty to wreak havoc and sorrow on so many families.

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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