Thoughts About Seventeen Dead Children

This is an unedited, lightly formatted series of tweets I posted tonight on twitter.  It was an intense half hour that I wanted to set up here as a more permanent record.  My twitter profile link.


I feel like I’m sitting at big, noisy beach party, shouting into the wind and hoping to be heard over the surf, and everyone is shouting hoping to be heard, and we’re shouting that the tRumpf and the cheating republiKKKans are ruining America and the gulls whirl overhead…

…oblivious to all but potential food.

But in fact I’m sitting here typing on twitter while listening to the Jerome Moross soundtrack for The Big Country, trying to be creative, hoping for follows and hearts and RTs.  And children are dead who shouldn’t be.

If my thoughts are unusually dark tonight–though it’s not so unusual–loss of a father early does that to a child–

If my thoughts are unusually dark, it’s because I’ve reached a saturation point.  Seventeen dead children is too many.  I want to blame Donald Trump and

the Republicans in Congress, but that’s not good enough at this point.  That’s not JUSTICE for seventeen dead children.  There can be no consolation for this much suffering.  I am saturated with grief tonight and hating on politicians just doesn’t touch that grief.

I’m 70 years old and an ex-con on probation and not a respectable person.  I can’t run for office and don’t want to go out and carry a sign.  That seems a pitiable gesture, a useless gesture.  The sea gulls can’t read and there are no angels up there to come down with JUSTICE.

Gustav Mahler wrote Kindertotenlieder–Songs for Dead Children.  There is no rage in this song cycle.  It expresses only sadness.  It is the music I’m listening to right now.  I know that Mahler lost a child and turned that unbearable grief into unbearably sad music.

Tonight I’m expressing my grief in several long tweets.  I’ve never tried this before, and I wonder if I’m just being foolish (again).  But I hope my words can touch some hearts, somewhere, though I can hardly hope to soothe any pain other than my own.  One more….

No politics, despite the powerful urge to blame, blame, blame.  Not this time, not this night.  I have no religion for consolation…but no arguments.  At a time like this the whole nation grieves.  Let us think on that tonight, and think about JUSTICE.  3/3

Good night.

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