We have been operating in a house of pandemic since March with, first, my daughter Shira returning from Boston University and her spring break with Covid-19 (over and done with in two weeks) followed by my wife, Bonnie’s, getting it for the next 10 weeks! I, somehow, have avoided it which puzzles me. And now, another virus rears its head, one that has been an insidious part of America since its birth. The death of George Floyd at the hands of those charged with protecting Americans has rattled and shaken the nation. It comes after a series of other deaths and racial incidents that have been all-too frequent. Many have reacted this past week with peaceful and forceful protest. Some have turned to looting that threatens the call for justice and change that the protesters espouse. As a teen, I struggled along with many with the horrific assassinations of MLK and Bobby Kennedy and the often-times violent clashes over the Vietnam War. Back then, we seemed charged with pushing forward, beginning again. And so, the moment calls to us now.
We cannot leave it to others and, as I say that, I search for grace and hope in the midst of this pain. And I find it. I find it in those who have grabbed a broom and are helping clean-up. I find hope in the multi-racial faces of the protesters who are marching in peace and will not be dissuaded from their demands that our country must change. I find it in the images of police and protesters taking a knee together. I find hope in those who are reaching out to listen, to learn, to hear, and to act.
I am a storyteller by nature. Like many writers, I don’t always know the ending of the story I begin to tell. Or, perhaps, more accurately, I think I may know the ending but remain open to where the story and characters want to take me. But this is not a novel, this is a country. It seems clear that each of us has a hand in shaping where the story of America is going. Each of us…and all of us.
I have hope….