No One Needs To Hear It

Yesterday we sat outside the restaurant eating our hamburgers in the car. Through the windows I could see the tables and chairs stacked up, wide yellow tape surrounding them as if it were a crime scene. Some nights I dream of eating inside the A&W, and then I wake up and remember that things have changed.

As we ate we watched the large, white gulls hop around the parking lot. Two were fat and healthy. They squawked as they searched for French fries on the asphalt and occasionally sipped from the puddles there. One gull was different from the other two. She stood mostly still on one leg and when she walked, it was gingerly. Clearly, she had an injured foot. At one point she was perched on a curb, balancing on one leg and a strong gust of wind blew her right over. She rearranged her feathers and sat back down on the curb.

Listen to me read this post:

I felt profoundly sad and helpless watching the injured gull. Then I realized that for days now I’ve felt profoundly sad and helpless. The gull simply made me feel the emotional combo more deeply. Darn sad bird.

It’s been really hard to blog lately  because everything I write about feels small in comparison with what’s going on in the world. I can’t write about my garden when people are dying from and frightened of COVID-19. I can’t tell about my mild discomforts when folks are out risking injury as they protest civil rights abuses and bravely demonstrate for much-needed change. I’m too safe and too comfortable to comment on either situation. I likely will never get sick from the coronavirus, not where I live, and I don’t think I have the courage to go stand up for civil rights only to be deterred by “less lethal means.” Yikes.

“No matter who we are, no matter how successful, no matter what our situation, compassion is something we all need to receive and give.” Catherine Pulsifer

So I’m stuck in sadness and helplessness, unable to write and unable to say something useful. I’m mired in sadness because marginalized people feel threatened, are imprisoned, and die at a significantly greater rate than folks like me. I feel really sad when I see corporations take financial advantage of a bad situation to build their wealth while the food bank lines lengthen.

My heart aches when I hear people I care about focus on riots and looting. These happen, I know, and I don’t condone vandalism, theft, or violence. But I don’t let looting distract me from the issues of poverty and racism that run deep, so deep and for so long, through the world. And I don’t confuse riots with peaceful protest. The differences are pretty easy to spot if it suits you to see them.

For someone stuck for something to say, I guess I’ve found something to say after all. It’s just not the time to talk about my flowers or my travels or my beautiful life. No one needs to hear it so I’ll rearrange my feathers and sit here on the curb, waiting out the hard times and hoping for peace and for justice.

Thanks for reading and listening. I appreciate you. Take care. ~ Lori

6 thoughts on “No One Needs To Hear It

  1. alhenry

    This may sound weird, but I think COVID is bringing out your best writing: “Through the windows I could see the tables and chairs stacked up, wide yellow tape surrounding them as if it were a crime scene.” Wonderful sentence/image/taut under-the-surface emotion.

    In Canada you’ve probably not had the lifetime of opportunities for protesting I, as an American, have had. After all, our draft-age boys during Vietnam fled to your country. We had Jim Crow (and still have, de facto). And we have TheRUMP (does anyone else want him, please take him, now!). So I’ve been in LOTS of protests since about age 13. Never any violence, looting, etc. Many–most–protests here were 100% peaceful. Of the ones that were fractious, about 70% of that came from the police, the WH, or far-right groups seeking to start their “fabled” race war (please, someone, take them away, too). The other 30% is likely a casualty of a small number of folks taking advantage of a highly fraught moment to grab and run.

    Anyway, if you ever have an action near you, on an issue you care about, I encourage you to give it (protest) a go. Speaking out, being in the midst of others who share your concerns/passion is very exhilarating. It connects you to something larger than yourself which, in turn, makes you feel more powerful. And sometimes things really do change. Stay well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lori Knutson

      Thanks for your kind comment, Amy! Sometimes when a piece is difficult to write – in this case because it’s emotionally charged – my writing does seem better or more appealing. It’s interesting. Take care and stay safe and courageous. 😊

      Like

  2. wendyol

    To my friend,

    Q: What do you get if you drop a grenade on the kitchen floor in France? A: Linoleum Blownapart.

    Q: What’s plastic, filled with sandwiches, and found in a French cathedral? A: The lunch pack of Notre Dame.

    A teacher reprimands a student about his homework. “This essay you wrote about your pet dog,” says the teacher, “is exactly the same word for word as the one your brother wrote.” “Of course it is,” says the student. “It’s the same dog!”

    A gorilla walks into a bar and orders a beer. “That will be $8,” says the batman and then adds, “We don’t get many gorillas in here.” “I’m not surprised at these prices!” says the gorilla.

    From an old joke book….just for you. W

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 1 person

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