Pulse, and the days that follow


I had a hundred fragmentary reactions when I heard the news. I'm still having them.

I knew it would be someone the press could call a Muslim when they used the word terrorist. I reread In This Hour, Mike Ford's recommendations for coping after Katrina. I knew Twitter would be awful, TV would be awful, the papers would be awful. I was half right; they were both awful and full of kindness.

I recognized consciously what I'd always unconsciously known, that these nightclubs are a sanctuary, a hearth where community is kindled, where love is nurtured and given a place to grow. Those of us who honor sacredness and the spaces it inhabits must honor them.

And I cried about the phone calls to parents, both because they were made and because they were answered, listened for, hoped for. If there's one thing that makes me realize that this gunman was too late, a generation too late, for any kind of victory, it was that.

But I'm white and straight and far away, safe in every fashion. I'll give the floor to the people who have more to talk about than me.

Message from Idumea: Be gentle with one another, dear people. Be careful and give space for complexity, for pain, for disagreement about means to our shared ends. Write carefully and listen generously. Seek to make each other smarter, wiser, and more joyful.