Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Sitting in Sadness

This has been a seesaw time.

Some things have been wonderful and lovely. I spent a morning having coffee with a childhood friend, with whom I've reconnected via the internet. I think we could have talked for days. I had a fantastic visit home with my parents, and then I accepted the Indiana Author's Award at this big gala dinner in Indianapolis, at the downtown library, which I've always loved. Last weekend I watched my daughter sword-fight with gusto and tenacity and success. (College fencing.)

And at the same time there's a lot going wrong. Much of what is happening is not my story, or not entirely, but, once again, people I care about are struggling with big problems that won't be easily or quickly solved.

And then someone shot up the synagogue in Pittsburgh.

I'm heartbroken over it. I'm Catholic. For a week this spring I was part of a small, close-knit, loving Jewish community, a group of children's writers and illustrators traveling through Israel. The people on that trip--only one other person wasn't Jewish--shared their faith and culture with me all week, lovingly, openly, with joy. They showed me how many different ways it was possible to be Jewish. After the latest round of sexual abuse scandals rocked the Catholic Church this summer I struggled for awhile with whether I could remain part of that institution. What kept me Catholic was my Jewish friends, who'd taught me so respectfully that there is room for dissent and disagreement within a faith.

When the madman who'd murdered eleven people at prayer was taken to the hospital, wounded, he was still ranting that he wanted to kill all the Jews. The doctors who treated him were Jewish.

This hatred is insanity. There is no place for it here. There is no place for it anywhere.