6/19/2015

What I will say

I'm numb because of the terrorist murder of nine people in a church in Charleston, South Carolina. I've been unable to really get excited about my job. I've also been going through some weirdness in my own life. 

What can I say that Jon Stewart didn't already say? We're going to be back here again soon enough because action seems impossible. Do we know how to communicate with each other at all?

Am I not supposed to be a communicator? How do I measure up? Am I doing anything actually meaningful, or am I just a stenographer?

I don't get to ask that question publicly, but yet I wrote those words. Do I own them now? Do they define what I wanted to say, or am I just spit-balling every single second of every single day? 

I don't know. I'm numb and unsure how to proceed. 

All I can say is about my own life. It's all I know, so it's the only thing I feel the authority to write about. Yet, I don't get to say much publicly. 

Isn't that the problem? How many of us are scared to say what we think because we are scared of the repercussions? Likely all of us. I want to put my opinions out there, but my opinions also change so frequently. I'm a cipher, a person who relays other people's arguments against a background of facts. This is what I do for a living, yet I only write professionally according to a certain set of parameters.

In my mind, though, I'm writing a different story. I'm a middle-aged man who has been married twice and divorced twice. I am preoccupied by occasionally parenting under those conditions, but I know that all three of my children are in the right place and are on their way to their own interesting lives. 

Writing this is making me less numb. But, can I look into the chasm? Can I share my own thoughts about being someone who grew up in a country his parents did not grow up in? Can I better explain to a public audience how I got to be where I am, and why my life is the way it is?

I don't even know who that public audience would be. I don't have anyone in mind but I just want something to be here to capture who I was in as many moments as possible. I want a counterpoint to my news articles. 

I also want to see what else might be out there. I've been in Charlottesville for 13 years now and I have spent most of that time with my nose to the grindstone. That will likely continue. 

What I really want to do is make music. I want to write about music. I want to interview other people about what they like about music. I want to interview musicians and get them to explain what's in their head when they create. I want to expose the secret worlds inside of us all, make connections between people who are alive at the same time I am alive. 

I can't stop things like what happened in Charleston. But, I want to be brave to say things the way I see them for real. Jon Stewart did that last night, avoiding jokes to just speak plainly to the camera. 

We need more candor like that. I find the world to be incredibly funny, but sometimes not in a laughing sense. Funny sometimes indicates that something is wrong and you're laughing about it to just push difficult thoughts away.

I look forward to seeing how Jon Stewart evolves. I somehow think it's going to be a good thing.