There has been a lot of noise since the election last November. Marches, protests, scandals. My Twitter feed has never been rowdier. There are movements happening. It’s big and it’s loud. And yet, the silence left hanging is hurting me, hurting us. It’s small but it’s growing. We are shouting the things in this world we are outraged about but we aren’t actually talking about them. Maybe you are but I’m not.
My girlfriends and I have a group text chat we use to check in with each other almost daily. There are pictures of kids, good news, bad news, frustrations, and links to new articles we think the others should read. Occasionally we send things like, “Syria. WTF?” It’s a loaded text. It’s full of outrage and sadness and mourning and helplessness. Oh how I wish we had more time to talk on the phone or better yet, in person. There is so much to talk about, really talk about, but there is no time. So, we lean on each other in heavy silence.
At work my team is virtual so we rely on Skype to keep in constant contact. We have an unspoken agreement not to talk about things like politics so our Skype chat is filled with work related questions and the occasional joke. It’s fine, it works for us, but sometimes I want to put talk about our next product release aside and say, “Did you all see what happened? It’s horrific. Why are we not talking about it?” But I don’t say that because part of me doesn’t want to hear what my co-workers have to say. I don’t want to know who they voted for or what they think about the refugee crisis. I need to work with them everyday and it helps if I like them. So, I stay silent.
Yesterday my Twitter feed was filled with news of innocent children and families suffocating to death from a toxic gas attack. I was horrified and shook into silence for most of the day. I don’t know what to say but I know I can’t look away. So, I turned to my blog, my little safe space on the internet, to write, to talk, to say something, even if all I’m saying is that I’m not saying enough.
This is not a post about hope. This is a post about taking a moment to be human and to sit with sadness and anger. This is a post to provide a break from the noise so you can hear the silence. This is a post about gathering yourself and deciding what to say next. If you want to talk, I do too so let’s. Talk to me in the comments or send me an email. If you want to help, below are two organizations doing good work.
If you only want to listen right now, that’s ok too. Just don’t look away.