I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Diamond Reynolds. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about her daughter.
I’ve been thinking about her courage, her sanity in the face of insanity, her freak out, her voice, her terror, her daughter saying, “I’m right here.”
I think about what I would have done. I imagine myself being a screaming lunatic. How could I not be?
I was pulled over once for a tail light being out. It’s was 4:30 in the morning and I was driving back to Columbus from visiting family in Michigan. No one was on the road. Except a policeman. He pulled me over and ended up giving me a ticket because I allowed my pre-schooler to sleep in the back seat instead of being strapped into an uncomfortable position, head lolling about, cervical spine distressed. He was an asshole. I was an asshole back.
I wanted to ask him if he’d ever been a single mother trying to juggle building a business, raising a young child, worrying about ill parents, paying bills for maintaining a home, and trying to find some shred of time for herself. I wanted to tell him to get his laws out of my car. Instead, I was defiant and unapologetic. I wanted to report him for being a jerk, although there’s no law against that.
I never worried, though, that he’d pull a gun on me.
Pull a gun on me.
In front of my daughter.
I want to sit and sob for days.
I can’t imagine what her thoughts were. What her daughter felt. How they both felt when they were separated for hours in the aftermath in what I can only see as a deeply cruel punishment.
After the 9/11 attacks, the Onion (a satirical publication) printed an article about a Midwestern woman baking a cake in the shape of an American flag because she didn’t know what else to do about her grief. I get it. I’m writing a blog. I don’t know what else to do with my grief. I just keep thinking, "How is this possible? How did that happen?”
I’m steering, willing, my mind towards ahimsa, metta, bhakti. An eye for an eye leaves both blind. Nonviolence, loving-kindness, devotion.
Devotion to the Eternal Love.
Sitting here in my office, I can't wrap my arms around Diamond Reynolds and her daughter, Dae’Anna, and whisper some words that would bring even the tiniest bit of hope and comfort. I can’t erase what they saw, what they experienced, what they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. But, I can sit here and practice turning my mind back to ahimsa (nonviolence), metta (loving-kindness), and bhakti (devotion towards unending love). Practice in these quiet moments, so that if ever there comes a time when I’m challenged, I may have the grace to remember to choose them.
Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth 1967