I’ve alluded to it before.
Of my faults, shortcomings and contradictions I can say definitely that naiveté might be the most dangerous flaw of the lot.
I mentioned in a previous piece about the need for us to float in the sea of our contradictions to ensure that we don’t drown beneath the depths.
A feat easier said than done, as I often find myself swallowing the putrid “water” more than I would care to admit.
Last month I had to endure the shock of someone I grew up with (the term friend isn’t befitting) – someone who is like a brother to me.
Live through a parent’s worst nightmare; burying their child.
The naiveté that is my hallmark led me to believe that those headlines, those gut wrenching reports about victims of gun violence, was always about someone else. I slept easy thinking that I was isolated from its reach.
When reality hit with that familar thud and shook my foundation, my attention was in its stranglehold.
Just when I thought I could breath…
This weekend bore cruel witness to my naiveté. Having my slumber broken by the news of my Aunt’s passing chilled me to the core, admittedly it felt as if the blood was drained from my extremities and replaced with ice water.
I felt numb, disembodied, hollow.
My Aunt was one of the cornerstones of my family, her stories about the family and their triumphs over adversity were always inspirational fare that I could never get enough of and the reality that I wouldn’t hear her narratives anymore cut deep.
I cried fitfully until my lungs were raw and my eyes were swollen and then, sleep enveloped me once more.
When I finally woke up I felt like a zombie, walking in a stupor of sorts, coming in and out of consciousness, what would normally be a leisurely Sunday was a blur.
When Monday arrived I willed myself into the office thinking that a distraction would help to stem the tide of overwhelming emotions.
It wasn’t to be…
Getting a message via Facebook that a good friend from high school was another statistic of the gun violence that seems to be the norm in Chicago was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I had to leave for the day, the sorrow was so thick that couldn’t see through it, I ended up sleeping until the following morning.
My naiveté is sinister in that it puts ideas in my head that are untenable.
As I sat underneath a tree earlier this evening penning this missive on my notepad app, I realized that expecting anything other than:
“Man’s inhumanity towards man.”
Would be laughable at best…
Life is a journey, a game of sorts, where the rules are skewed in the favor of consistent inconsistency.
I blinked hard, looking up at a group of bats circling overhead and instead being unnerved by their presence, I had an epiphany…
For a split second I was angry at myself for wondering why I had the audacity to think that:
Why do we act as if any of us are going to get out of here alive?
And the tears stopped.
The realization of what is was the dam.
Being on borrowed time and knowing it, lends an needed urgency to our actions.
God doesn’t have to shout when whispering is enough.