The writing bug is an intermittent virus with me. Sometimes I feel like I am going to combust if I don't spill the things loaded up in my head, and other times I can stare at a blank screen thinking "where did all those thoughts go?"
Today, I have both symptoms. I am angry from yet another act of ignorance displayed by those around me, but as I sit here I have no idea where I want to start. I am also frustrated because whenever I sit down to write, I have a metronome in my brain ticking away to the tune of "you have exactly ten minutes to get this down before X has to happen or you have to pick up Y or handle Z". Confliction. It's everywhere.
Bill would meditate and empty his mind. Bill would tell me to breathe. And I try. I really, really do. I am just, as my daughter would say, an epic fail at those things. So here, with you, I will release my combustion the only way I know how. With words.
I cannot for the life of me fathom why people have this need to be "the one" to announce a tragedy. Having a job where I witness bad news being given on a regular basis, I see little gained from being present to see the devastation in someone's eyes, the cry of pain, the chaos that follows the deliverance of bad news. Plainly put: it sucks.
I am not going to lie to you, I share things with those closest to me. I repeat stories, gossip and relay weird events. I slap my hands over my mouth and giggle when the same inappropriate things are shared with me. But people, I do these things in my home, in person, in private exchanges. I do not do them on Facebook.
Oh yes, here we are again. Facebook. I wonder on a regular basis how many lives are damaged, marriages tanked, friendships ended because of our favorite social media. I think people take the disclosure of their (and others) personal lives way too far. I found myself livid when someone decided that announcing the death of Casey's classmate in a Facebook post was a good idea. Who does that? Who does that? I will tell you: someone whose ego needs to be pumped. Someone who cannot wait to be "the one" to tell the horrible news. Someone who is, in my eyes, a very, very small person.
To note - the metronome has been ticking for four days now, while I come back and forth to complete this blog entry. Again, X,Y and Z have combined to strip my writing time down to a minimum. Every time I return, I read what I wrote, delete some of it, and find myself a little less angry. I think in spite of myself I do empty my mind. It just takes longer to drain down. Don't get me wrong, I still think it is incredibly disrespectful to tell people a child that you barely knew died on a social media site. But I realize that in order to be a bigger person, you have to move past the things that burn you up inside and find something to make that burn heal.
Today is September 11th. I chose not to turn on the TV or read the papers today, because I despise America's obsession with picking scabs to the point that they take forever to heal. I don't forget the day, the people that lost their lives, and especially the first responders that died doing their jobs. I bless the firemen and paramedics I work with every day, saying a silent prayer for their safety as they walk out the ambulance bay into the night. I thank them, I laugh with them, I sing their praises. Because they are the ones who carry the image of Casey's friend with them. The kid they tried to save, the kid they feel they failed. The kid they'll never talk about on Facebook. I wish them a peaceful heart, an empty mind, a metronome that ticks as slow as molasses. And that, in turn, brings me peace.