Authors who are "Differently Expertised"...

Authors who are "Differently Expertised"...

16 January 2011

Here Comes the Sun

This is simultaneously published on The Writers' Vineyard:

I live in Tucson. In fact, I live in northwest Tucson, not far from Safeway. The now notorious Safeway.

I won’t bore you with facts and scenarios already recited during the last nine days, other than to remind readers that on January 8, 2011, six people were killed and fourteen others wounded while going about their normal routine on a Saturday morning. It can happen anywhere, yes—but it happened here, not only in my town but in my own meet-for-coffee, run-to-the-bank, let’s-go-for-ice cream neighborhood. I was almost there, planning to go speak with my congresswoman about the good job she was doing, but at the last moment decided to stay home to help my son pack for his return flight to college that evening. Shaken to the core, stunned, emotional, shocked—all these words describe the reactions my fellow Tucsonans and I have experienced.

As a writer, trying to capture the overwhelming sense of violation and sorrow with words is difficult at best. Words seem so incredibly inadequate to convey the intensity and depth of hurt. And, after more than a week of this sharply burning pain, should those descriptions be shared? Maybe later, when time has healed the raw edges and logic fully returns.

No, what a writer needs to share at this time more than any other is hope. Words to comfort the frightened and the shaken. Hope lives, rising from stained asphalt on white dove wings. Where the tragedy impacted the community like a boulder slammed down into a puddle, hope quietly expands in concentric circles, widening peacefully and gently, as with a dragonfly’s liftoff from a still pond.

So many stories will be told of this day. Stories of heroes and cowards, watchers and responders, eagles and vultures. I think I can truthfully say that President Barack Obama’s speech started the healing process for many of us, lifting a black cloud to let us see that we did not grieve alone, allowing us to begin to see the sun and turn to life once more.

For me, George Harrison’s lyrics have never been more perfect:

Little darling, the smile’s returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been clear
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun
And I say
It’s all right.
Approximately 1,000 Tucsonans stood together to support the family of shooting victim nine-year-old Christina-Taylor Green. And it seems an angel was watching over all...

~Jude Johnson

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