Letter From The Train 07 18 2016 A Pandemic of Homicides…

The New Jersey countryside is slipping by, not very attractive here, just outside New York City, just before Newark, a maze of train tracks and freeway overpasses, industrial complexes and abandoned buildings.  This is the second of the four trains I will be taking today and tomorrow on my way to Minneapolis — actually St. Paul because that’s where the depot is.

Every year I go to Minneapolis to visit family and friends.  And this year I thought taking the train would make it more of an adventure and I routed myself through DC so that I might take the Capitol Limited, the train from DC to Chicago, which I have never taken beyond Martinsburg, WV.

Trains as a way of travel are good to give me time to think.  And I and we have much to think about. Yesterday’s New York Times Weekend Briefing had a link to an article advising us on how to cope with such a bad news week.  One suggestion was to curb your exposure to news and to spend time with family and friends.  “Listening is curative.”

And that was posted before I went to Church, where I lit candles for people and causes I care about and who need caring for and as I was lighting candles, one for peace, my pocket vibrated and I saw that three police men were dead in Baton Rouge, killed, we now know, by an ex-Marine who targeted them.  In my pew, I lowered my face and felt defeated.

In all the talk we have had, pro and con about police killing people, and now people killing police, we have not taken the time to accept that violence happens with appalling frequency and we need to take responsibility for it, each and every one of us. 

The US is not in the top ten most violent countries nor are we one of the ten most peaceful countries. Australia and Canada are in that category though.  We feel about as safe walking around in our neighborhoods as an average European  does.  That’s good…   However, CriminalJusticeDegreeHub.com says we are “in a pandemic of homicides,” as other kinds of crime seem to be “stifled.”

And what has gotten us all worked up is this pandemic of homicides, particularly ones that involve the police.  For the most part, we seem to respect our police.  But murder marches on. 

And I want to do something about it.  I want to do something more than light candles.  And I don’t know what that is.   

Many of us do feel anguish and impotence because we don’t know how to move our country into being a more peaceful place than it is.  And that is what we want for our country, to be a more peaceful place.  Governor Edwards of Louisiana said, “Emotions are raw. There’s a lot of hurting people.”

And there are.  I am hurting and I am nowhere near Baton Rouge or Dallas though will not be far from Falcon Heights when I arrive in Minnesota. This last week of violence has hit me hard and has hit everyone I know in some hard way.  My friends seem hurt and bewildered, not angry, confused not infuriated.

Mix all of this with the attempted coup in Turkey which failed and has resulted in a harsh crackdown by Erdogan on anyone he suspects, pour in the wounds from Nice, France, sprinkle with Brexit and add a dash of any personal suffering we are enduring, stir with the healthy mix of dismay we are having over our incredible political season and there is no wonder we are confused, bleak and anguished, feeling just a little more fragile than is our wont or want.

Perhaps there is some revelation that will come to me while I traverse half the country, back to Minnesota, where I was born.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Responses to “Letter From The Train 07 18 2016 A Pandemic of Homicides…”

  1. Bruce Thiesen Says:

    Get to Minnesota. Reset.

  2. tombers Says:

    Thanks, Bruce! I am over halfway there, a layover in Chicago and then on to Minneapolis in a couple of hours. I will do my best to hit the reset button. I just wish the rest of the country would too…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: