“Small sorrows speak; great sorrows are silent.” Keillor
Yesterday was Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for those who have fallen in military conflicts past, as well as honoring those who serve today. It was also six days into the week in which an unspeakable tragedy occurred in Uvalde, Texas. It was a more somber occasion than usual.
As Bukowski writes, “Sometimes life is so hard we just don’t know what to do.” Today seems to be one of these times. How can we synthesize it?
Writers with deadlines, required or self-imposed, face these times when their word-plans don’t seem appropriate for the moment. As Mike Tyson once commented, “Everybody has a plan until they’ve been punched in the mouth.” I believe our nation feels this way now.
There’s joy in writing, particularly if articles are humorous, enlightening, satirical, sometimes serious but always filled with hyperbole. For what is life anyway? We live in memories, and what better way to enjoy them than to freshen them up occasionally with exaggeration.
But life has a deadly serious side, a side we prefer to keep embedded in our subconscious and away from the keyboard. But since so much of life is purely accidental, we’re often at a loss of words or actions when faced with the reality of it. With the events in Uvalde and elsewhere, this seems to be the case. Our feelings are raw.
It seems our entire country is in a sort of silent grieving at the enormity of events here and abroad and is at a loss for words, although as usual, plenty of accusations and blame are finding expression.
On St. Simons Island, a Memorial Day gathering service is held annually. It’s called Taps at Twilight. It is a moving ceremony with a color guard, bagpipers, the community band playing Sousa music and military speakers. It honors veterans from all branches of military service. It reminds each of us that we’re all part of one nation, even if only for an evening. We all leave changed.
Memorial Day is a good day to reflect on who we are, individually and as a people-nation. Evil and tyranny exist everywhere, even in our very presence, but so does kindness, compassion and good will. Let us choose the kinder part and commit ourselves to this endeavor.
May yesterday be a reminder to us all that Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness is the beacon of light our nation shines to the world.
May 31, 2022