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I posted this today on my Facebook page and Lisa suggested I posted it here, too. So, here it is:

My stomach hurts.

For better or worse, I am an emotional being. Are you familiar with the color gels used on stage lights? Those films placed over plain ol' white lights to create different colors on a stage? Emotions are the gels through which pretty much every thing comes to me or leaves from me.

Most of the time I'm alright with this. Others are too. Many people find it charming that I giggle like a teenager or get excited like a five year old at Christmas. Most are indulgent with me when I keep on talking and talking about something that has impressed, thrilled or moved me even when I've run out of any new words to use.

Some times it sucks. I have depression and sometimes it gets the upper hand. I have anger and, while I can count on one hand the times I've actually yelled at someone in my whole life, apparently my anger is enough to scare some folks when I'm not saying anything at all. That sucks. Mostly I turn the depression and anger just on myself and that sucks, too.

Something else I've noticed about being this emotional person is that, in times of great upheaval or turmoil or unexpected tragedy ~ or even super happy exciting things ~, it can take a few days to come back to someplace even resembling quiet in my head. And that can lead to physical manifestations such as I'm experiencing now.

My stomach hurts.

The shooting in Tucson last weekend was horrifying. That one victim was a national politician gave it another tinge. And in no time at all it became a national discussion on political rhetoric.

I welcomed the spotlight on the vicious, violent, disdainful and condescending speech that really does seem to me to have taken over in the last few years. While I don't think that anything specific said or done by others in the last few years led this young man to do what he did, I can't help but feel that the aura of hate that seems to have enveloped the country played a role. Continues to play a role in pushing people of troubled mind or willful ignorance into acts of violence of one sort or another.

Over the weekend I read many eloquent, impassioned writings from people on the left saying this tragedy was to be expected given the imagery and rhetoric used in the last campaign as well as on the airwaves on any given day right up to the present. And, for the most part, I agreed with them.

I also read many writings from people on the right, screaming back that no one person other than the shooter himself can be blamed for this event. And, in the simplest terms, they're correct.

And I finally remembered. Like I said, it can take some days for me to get quiet enough to listen to a higher self, something greater than I.

However frustrated I might be that people can't understand my point of view, refuse to acknowledge their own shortcomings or admit that they might not know all there is to know any more than I do, yelling at them about it is not going to get them to listen to me. Pointing a finger and screaming, "I told you so!" isn't going to get them to agree with me.

So, while I read a lot of great writing over the last few days, I haven't reposted any of it here on my Facebook page. Because, though I feel much the same way, ranting about how angry I am and have been isn't going to help.

Let's all agree, instead, that none of us is actively working to bring down the nation. None of us is evil. And go from there.

Maybe then my stomach will stop hurting so much.

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Comment by D'Jeanne Newberry Duncan on January 12, 2011 at 8:40pm
Thank you for sharing Kristin. I agree.
Comment by wiffledust on January 12, 2011 at 8:33pm
i welcome you sharing your most tender feelings, kristin. i know they are heartfelt, because you, my friend, are all heart. i know how badly you want us all to get along. and what a horrible week it has been for the sensitive among us. thank you for putting yourself down on paper! xxx

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