I just came home from running errands and buying my favorite drink from my favorite coffee shop. I go on playing with our dogs, driving to the supermarket for fresh cantaloupe and sour cream, knowing that there are food shortages in Ukraine. I could retreat into my office and mull over notes for a new writing project, but no one I know or admire ignores the violence across the globe. How can I go on writing while the world is in such trouble? My distance from the violence means something; where do I end, and the suffering world begins? What can I write that brings comfort to anyone who reads my day’s scribble? Maybe I write to escape, or to object, or to expose evil. Whatever prompts me to string words across a page is somehow connected to the human condition.
The past four generations of my family have been subjected to war, some of us directly, some not, but many of us were in uniform. Now I have a grandson and I try not to imagine him in uniform. The world news gets worse by the hour. And I am a bystander while other people flee for their lives or die in their homes, their streets, their hospitals, and schools, and all I can do is pay attention, keep calm and alert, and not take freedom for granted. However ugly the news might be, let’s pay attention. And let’s write the truth when we can find it.