Tag Archives: hope

School shootings

“There have been at least 288 school shootings in the US since 1/1/09, 57 times more than the other six G7 countries combined.”   –CNN

These numbers are, unfortunately, no surprise to me. Our culture has been steadily shifting to one of violence and our young people are caught in the crosshairs.  The rhetoric perpetuates, spinning round and round as the NRA spins the mental health issue and our politicians take their sides without paying much attention to what their constituents feel. And here I am, spinning my own rhetoric.

What I can’t wrap my head around is how this perpetuates in such a vacuum.  Parents don’t know what is going on in the minds of their children, don’t check their internet pages, don’t look at those others their sons hang out with, or whether they have friends at all, don’t know if they have guns and don’t secure guns in locked safes.

I don’t mean to be ragging on the parents.  Sometimes their sons externalize very differently than what they internalize, but certainly, parents can determine if their children are depressed or angry or manifesting signs of mental illness.  Perhaps one problem is they don’t know what to look for.  Mental illness isn’t covered in most parenting books, that is if they read those books.

Schools are also part of the problem as are the communities.  The “not in our town”, mentality is a pervasive glitch in our psyche.  There aren’t enough instructors to demonstrate what to look for and how to prepare for it.  Police departments are also not involved enough, although in many towns there just aren’t enough police officers and perhaps not enough budgeted funds to train them adequately, particularly in small towns.

But, I think the greatest problem is that there is a lack of Hope in these young people, and in those who perpetrate mass shootings at concerts and movie theaters, or wherever crowds merge. They lack the foresight to see there are better ways to handle their feelings, that going out in a blaze of rage is not the answer. They are, too often, left to their own devices.  Nobody is wondering why a person is acting strangely or if it’s their responsibility to do something about the warning signs they see.  And young people who see what is emerging in another classmate keep that tight-lipped stalemate of not acting in protection of one of their own, even one who no one wants to be near.

I had a dear friend who had an arsenal of over 200 weapons, including cannons he had built himself.  Everyone looked on it as a quirky obsession and hobby.  He grew depressed and was so hateful to his family that they avoided dealings with him – left him to his devices.  I can’t blame them, dealing with his rage and depression filled them with despair. I talked with his wife about the possibility of therapy but he wouldn’t hear of it.  In the end, he blew his brains out. In front of a son. The guns are his sons’ legacy.  It makes me crazy thinking about it.  They should be sold and the money’s used to start their adult lives with.  I mentioned it to my friend, but that is where my advice ended.  Guns are just part of her reality even though she doesn’t touch them.

Hope is strangely lacking in so many of our lives.  We huddle in masses of despair.  Those who have church may find comfort there; therapy is a God-send to many. But to those who have no real support in their lives, whose lifestyle and decisions seem to have no awareness in those around them hope is just 4 letters strung together.  And they are already strung too tight.  And we stand by, hands dangling at our sides, vacant expressions on our faces, saving “Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa.”

 

 

 

Searching for a Panacea

Searching for a panacea
we drift in somnambulance
seeking the respite
to this long-suffering despair
cloaked in remorse
we wrap its dull edges
about bodies
tired of futility,
from meaningless pressures
offering no consolation
and hold tightly
for fear of drowning’s end,
in morose morbidity
should even an integer slip.
Discouraged, disillusioned –
but a spark remains
always there,
lurking in shadows
of some inner force
to relinquish pain
and surge forward
onto a more brightly lit path,
one more than existence,
but rather of life.

The Moment in Change

Pen poised in mid-air,
with mind musing upon
the course of destiny,
vaguely wandering in
floating traipses
shooting off into future dreams
forgetting the moment
given in tender love
for cautious care.

So quickly do I flee
from the pressures of time
into a world of imaginary dreams,
mystical illusions and cryptic
messages – forgetting that
only through a full living
does the journey seem brighter
and the path clearer . . .

When caught between
past and future
I stand in terror,
eyes fearfully turning first
one way then another
but never straight ahead –
fogs swirl in clouded images
through the mind
leaving behind a tension
of confusion.

Today is only like any other . . .
the past is all that is seen,
the future lies in a heavy
cloak, blocking out fresh air.

But the moment – if relished
for itself – treasured among all
others for it’s radiance, its life –
is a gift of the gods
given to the weary
to instill hope and faith
that other moments such as these
are there for the taking
and just as freely given

 

Ping Pong

Up and down, down and up,
go the fortune’s
of my life.
Why believe in what
tomorrow foretells
when down and up
it will inevitably
be vastly different
than where I hung
my hat just a day ago.

Up I believed a move
was in the offing –
down no longer there.
Hope waved
in fragrant breezes
only to hang in tatters
so soon before the
supposed finale.

Nothing is real
until you walk the path.
Talking is just dreaming,
lacking substance,
planning does not
make it real.

I’m just the Velveteen Rabbit
watching my ball bounced
up and down, down and up,
always in another’s hand.

 

Aunt Lillian

Thank you isn’t enough
for what you’ve given me.
Words have no meaning
in a world of emotions.
When I hit bottom
crawling on hands and knees
a hand was outstretched
in quiet support. . .
love without strings.

I saw hope through your eyes
gained strength in the purring
of your voice
learning you saw something
I didn’t but that must be real.
Learning  to believe in me
through the respect in your eyes
caring for myself
while you questioned after my health

I can never repay unconditional love
but through your giving
perhaps the lesson can be learned
and one day
I can attempt to love
somebody else
as you have loved me.
Thank you – my mentor, my friend.