Is it safe?

Riffing off a friend’s blog post, I’m beginning to wonder if anywhere is “safe.” Our country seems to be turning into a war zone.

I’m reminded of the feeling the rabbits had in Watership Down, which I read obsessively and repeatedly when I was a child. They lived always with a general fear of someone being taken, that they’d step the wrong way and be caught in the wire, the snare. It was a part of life that they carried everywhere, always looking over their shoulder, and their numbers changing all the time as rabbits disappeared, and then the word would come they were taken. Is this really how the circle of life is supposed to be for humans? Waiting for the scythe around every corner, looking suspiciously at people at the playground area at the mall, wondering if that’s really a diaper bag. I sit at my desk on the 40th floor of the tallest building in Cleveland worry every day that someone will do something horrible to the building and that will be all. But I worry for my son more. Obviously being with him physically is not enough protection. Nor is his school building, which follows all the usual precautions. I was talking with my Mom this morning and trying to brainstorm for an area of the world where this shit is not a regular occurrence, and it’s becoming difficult to think of an inhabitable and pleasant place to live where acts of terrorism, foreign or domestic, are not so frequent that one has to live in fear all the time.

After the fear, at least for me, comes anger. I suppose that’s “next” in the “process,” whatever that means, but I just feel like a rabid lion, wanting to grab my cub by the scruff of the neck and roar at anyone that gets close to us. I want intense physical harm to come to people who perpetrate these acts, whoever they are or whatever their “reason,” and I want to inflict some of it. Stonings in the square and public hangings were perhaps not such a bad idea, I think. Then I know that’s terribly uncivilized, and put those thoughts away, at least enough so that others can’t see them.

The hippie in me then wants so desperately what will never happen – that we will all understand and accept each other, even if we are different, and get along, or at least allow each other to live in peace and leave someone alone who you don’t agree with. And again I am angry that this seems like almost a silly notion.

How many more incidents like this before my son finds out, and I have to try to explain things to him? How long before innocence is destroyed? I am marking the time, nervously, angrily.


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