It is at times like this -- little sleep -- sick children -- that my usually optimistic outlook takes a dive and I indulge in self-pity and "cruel, cruel world" thoughts. Even though I have it so good.
Now it's 3:13pm the next day. Those sick children woke up and we had a Sponge Bob viewing early morning slumber party. The Mucinex wore off by 9:00am and fortunately it is Sunday so I rested. Even so, I am haunted by a melancholy about just about everything these days. Let's blame part of it on public radio. Every time I listen (which is often, and yes, I'll become a contributing member just as soon as I'm out of credit card debt) it's about man's inhumanity to man, or some sort of terrible, tragic, personal struggle story. Thank God for Saturday with Click and Clack and those boring garden and cooking shows (boring to me because I don't garden (well) or cook (well).
Also to blame is the reality that my best friend from high school (and post high school roommate) is in prison for the rest of her life with no chance of parole. And she is innocent (of murder -- that's what she's convicted of). That's a kind of special little tidbit to share, isn't it? I would rather not have such a special and unique story, though I do write about it. As cheap therapy, of course. Now, I've been living with this for quite some time, but as time itself stretches on it is harder to bear. What a whiner I am! I'm not the one in prison! Her situation does haunt me, though. How could someone like my best friend, which such sensitivity, intelligence, wit, and talent -- from my own pure, golden, Golden Valley be in prison for murder? It haunts me, because every time I go to a restaurant or an amusement park -- or anywhere -- I see a flash of her and I know where she is. No ordering Chinese food for her. No sitting by a cozy fire on a snowy day. Nearly every moment of her day is structured; what a horror for an artist like Liz.
I carry guilt because I don't write her often enough. I'm never sure what to say. What do I say? I feel ridiculous catching her up on the latest family news on the outside because she will never be on the outside (barring some miracle -- please God or spirits or angels or whoever is out there wanting to do good -- make a miracle and get her out!). It is depressing to discuss the events that led up to her incarceration, and nothing can be done. We also had not lived in the same city for years before the events that led to her arrest, so we had been out of touch, and I did not witness or confide with her regarding any of the events leading up to her downfall. I know she did not plan a murder, but when I am honest with myself, I know that she was obviously being led down a dark path by her little brother. I will never truly know how dark she became during that time. Well, the whole situation is just... depressing... so when I'm looking for a reason to be sad, there it is.
Then I start thinking about Anne Frank -- Anne herself, and Anne as a symbol of every dynamic, innocent being who has been tortured and murdered by the monsters of the world.
And domestic violence. And school shootings. And other shootings. And world history -- Currently, I'm reading Story of the World (Vol 2) by Susan Wise Bauer as part of a Fireside Academy class with my children. In a nutshell, the story of our world is violence. Some would attribute this to original sin and say that we are stuck with it -- no chance of peace. We have always been a violent species and always will be, but I just can't think like that. There is evolution, after all. If an animal can evolve gills or something, can't we evolve to be peaceful and sane?
A little later down the road, maybe, huh? Then we can all be like Hawkeye from Mash and see, really see the insanity of violence.