Wednesday, June 22, 2016

An Eye for An Eye

I got it wrong from the beginning.

I misunderstood “an eye for an eye” because I was a sensitive child, or an ornery child, or a brilliant child, depending on your perspective. Perhaps the idea came from a teacher or another student, I'm not sure. But poking out eyeballs didn't make a lot of sense to me, so I figured it was more of a restorative justice kind of punishment. Like, hey, you poke out someone's eye, now it's your turn to see for them.

This is not how other people see it.

And that's ok. The world is full of soul-crushing news, like zoos have trained snipers on staff just in case.

That beat isn't part of the music.

The explosion wasn't part of the show.

I work in the world of babies – I saw several of my babies today – they all showed me their shoes, full of sparkles and light-up insteps. They can walk and talk and cause all sorts of mayhem. And instead of marveling at how grown up they all are, I had the sinking feeling.

Which one of you will become a murderer?

Get shot on purpose?

By accident?

You see, you might think I'm exaggerating to make a point, but my 14 year old cousin completed a firearm assisted suicide, two of my childhood friends were shot by their husbands. My flower girl shot herself in the head. I lost a friend in Columbine. A friend's father worked at Sandyhook. A friend's daughter was in the theatre in Aurora.

My world is too small. 

It is too small for automatic weaponry.

For guns in the hands of children.

Or adults.

How many people do you know who were shot to death?

On purpose?

By accident?

Should there be a charm necklace for this? Because my number is so high now, I'm starting to forget. I'm losing track. I need a way to remember, and the burden of the memory is crushing. It is messing with my head.

I'm starting to wonder: who is next?


Your baby?

I am not naïve enough to believe that changing the way we access guns will eliminate tragedy. That people will not still die early. That senseless things will continue to happen.


If we continue to behave this way,

how long until we are all blind?