Tuesday, June 14, 2016

140 Characters

So many thoughts, songbirds fleeting, tweeting. Truncated to 140 characters by internal Twitter editor.  Too tempting a day to be closed in.  Air cushioned by just enough humidity at 10:36, real-time tweets unedited through open windows. 
Neighbor dogs yelp. Fuzzheaded morning tries to distinguish between ruffs, woofs, tweets, and chirps.  Daunting responsibility to be armed with only a pen and a notebook…how different it is when, seated upright, straight-backed, the seduction of dictionary.com beckoning. 
Battered by input, I feel exhausted by too much people time and not enough process time. Trying earnestly to recall dreams, details, days.  Can’t.
Can’t, can’t, can’t.
Can. Not.
Cannot recall a clear day, empty of obligations, full of Sabbath.
Can. Not. This week, there was no Sabbath.
Cannot recall a crystal-clear detail; everything is memory painted with the biggest brush. Nothing stands apart from its memory-castle surroundings. No crystalline dreams, the sharply colored ones which contrast solutions on my waking world.
Battered by too much input, the need to mourn things and people, things that shouldn’t have happened, people that should have but who were cancelled by bullets from a gun no one should have.
Each person touched the next person, a family, a friend, who had a family and friends and families and friends of theirs, and on and on and on.  Touching until it touched us, until, on and on, it touched me.

I heard the tweets. 140 characters of truncated touching, touching, touching. Touching ‘til the skin of the psyche, both universal and personal, is so personal, is so overstimulated by grief and trial, disbelief and trauma. Pages turn and pens trill in the quiet of Davistown, privileged university entrenched where liberalism and progress protest the guns.

Victims in The Pulse in Orlando heard no quiet except when the shooting stopped long enough for the murderer to assess his kill, and then go back for more, making the memory of the quiet not peaceful but hate-frought, a portent of more terror, more bloodshed, more tragedy.
The quiet where he counted his grisly harvest turned into the quiet that turned to cncellation, the void of death, the suffocation of real lives, of people who touched every day…touched their mothers, touched their lovers, touched their co-workers, children, neighbors, and the people who tallied their grocery bills.

Whole tribes of people:  trans, lesbian, bisexual, gay, queer.  Tribal terms turned into targets.
For silence.
Made to be cancelled.
Made to be still.
Made to be done touching, they are done tweeting, they have even had their 140 characters taken from them.
And from us.
The others who would fill the tender quiet they left when they were cancelled want to touch, touch, touch.  They want to poke and say, want to tear and prod and tweet, touch, touch, touch,
Touch then then shove and shout, touch tumulting and shove shouting.
No one can hear for the only silence is the silence of the slain, those who are cancelled.

The cancelled are quiet.

A whole tribe of people, a people who are portrayed as “other” because of their way of making and being made as all were made, without determination or choice. The tribe listens to the quiet and they question.  Where is our safety?  Why the cancelling?  Who is my friend?  Where is our refuge?

Questions.  Quiet.  Cancelling.

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