Wednesday, June 15, 2016


Somehow I couldn't feel anything about Orlando.  I think if it had been three people killed, I would have been shocked and upset.  But the number ... 

I just didn't want to believe it.  It's human nature, I think, when something terrible happens, for our little brains to get busy figuring out how it couldn't possibly happen to US.  But if I really took in the Orlando massacre, I a lesbian who often goes to public places and events focused on gay people -- I would feel VULNERABLE!  My little brain would have a very hard time figuring out how this could never happen to ME.  I don't WANT to feel VULNERABLE!  I'm an American!   I'm supposed to live forever in comfort and ease!  I am NOT LIKE the people that bad things happen to!

Of course I KNOW the world is full of people (even Americans) who have never had the privilege of deluding themselves that they are safe.  In my defense, I must say that I've been practicing Buddhism for a while in an effort to dismantle the walls I put up between myself and others.  

But still, I heard about Orlando, the wall went up, and I was numb.

Also, I happened to be alone.  Much easier to be numb when alone.  

Then, in the course of doing my errands yesterday in my neighborhood, I came upon the altar at 18th St. and Castro.  There are often memorials at the spot for gay men and lesbians who have died.  I am always moved to read about these people who were loved.  Small memorials.  This was different.

 I read the hand-written placards.

I absorbed the loving words chalked on the sidewalk.

I studied the photos of my dear brothers and sisters who had been murdered.

I remembered the night that Harvey Milk had been murdered.

And I wept.