I don’t write about tragedies that don’t directly affect me. I don’t write about things I cannot touch with my own fingers, fear that I cannot smell with my very own nostrils, tears I cannot taste on my own two lips.
I don’t write about boys in green and blood and sweat whom I’ll never meet. About girls who should be shopping with their friends instead of screaming over an open grave. About mothers with a smile (still) on their lips and a pillow soaked with tears, who have barrels of strength I can never dream of possessing.
I don’t write about tragedies because – how dare I? How dare I sit here in comfortable New York City with ordinary ambulance sirens sounding off around me and not running with my baby for shelter? How dare I sit here in safety and talk about my feelings and my thoughts on a land I don’t live in and boys who face monsters and death every single day.
Who the hell am I and what the hell is my voice among the hundreds and thousands of voices delving into the politics and history and ideology of tragedies? Who the hell am I to write one goddamn word about death and war and unfathomable evil?
And who the hell am I to even make this about me and my guilt.
Maybe if I ignore it, it won’t be real. Maybe if I sit here in comfortable New York City, with the ordinary sirens around me and continuing the most ordinary of lives, the world will be as safe as I feel at this moment.
So I go on Facebook and take selfies and post videos of my kid and “like” photos of food and mindless, inappropriate jokes. I ignore the videos of dogs being burned alive and beatings of human beings and heads being cut off – heads being cut off!!! – for the whole world to see. I scroll down faster when I see the death tolls climbing each day and picture after picture of soldier after soldier. Mother after mother. And I ignore the horror rising up in my throat, ignore the images and sounds that will no doubt be burned into my mind for all eternity, if I just click “play.”
Because who the hell am I and how dare I say one word about a situation I cannot possibly understand.
Shame on me.
How dare I not write about tragedies that don’t affect me. How dare I sit here in comfortable New York City and ignore the videos and horrors and not, at the very very least, get over my self-imposed guilt, and freakin write about it.