For Dark Anger Burning

Rains pelts the roof like small needles. Cold rain, bitter rain falling from smoke red clouds that reflect the lights from the grade school across the street. Monday comes too soon, and children will fill the school’s halls. Maybe, a bit more somber, heads checking the corners for danger. But tonight, it rains. I’m glad the rain is here, doesn’t seem fitting for a starry sky plastered with small bits of light. Not after Friday. Rain, the weather of sadness, of anger, of helplessness.

Photography by Mark Askins

Sweet Jesus, I’m angry, burned up on the inside with white hot rage, my heart leaks out through my eyes again.

I can’t understand or process these violent acts any more. Since the little ones at Sandy Hook Elementary were murdered, everything feels like a walking paradox. I’m angry one minute, yelling at the news media assholes for cornering terrified children for interviews. The next minute, I’m deep in Christmas planning and organizing, sending out lists for last minute gifts.

Happy for a moment which feels wrong and good all at the same time. My fists clenched for a fight brewing  and open to hold those who are dearest to me. Bones creak, and I don’t complain. All should be well, but it isn’t. Here I am safe at home, two dogs nuzzled under my arms, and I curse the unjustness.

Right now, I’m caught somewhere between fuck and shit and anger melts down into new weariness. I watch the voices on Twitter and Facebook rage for anything, anything to change. I’m angry. I’m angry at the NRA for pushing its fear-mongering “out of my cold hands” mentality. No one can tell me that an armed elementary teacher would have made the situation better. It wouldn’t.

And I’m angry at the voices crying for all firearms to be gathered, hauled away somewhere, interpreting the 2nd amendment to only muskets, or outdated fodder to prevent the red coats from coming. This simply fuels the other side’s fear and escalates the rage and breaking down of discourse. Stalemates only breed resentment and inaction. Worse still, they breed fear. I can’t take any more fear, any more  doomsday predictions, any more if we could only have bullshit. I’m done.

While everyone debates and grieves and mourns, I try to look toward the future, a new teaching job.

College English, three courses, everything I know how to do and trained so long for. For awhile, the pure elation of being back in the classroom again filled every part of me. But this was before Friday. Now, I’m terrified.  The choking what if’s sneak up, and there is a twinge of fear too. A classroom, students, what I have been waiting for these long two years poisoned by the if it happened in Sandy Hook, what’s to stop it happening at my new job? Right now, nothing makes the fear go away. It’s ever present part of entering the classroom again.

I look for some bit of peace or hope or joy this Advent, but right now, I’m only seeing fear and anger and rage. All boiling up and over…

Veni, Veni, Emmanuel. 

The rain keeps falling, softer now. Cold and bitter, the lights from the elementary school glow up on the clouds. A light in the darkness, an echo of the peace that we long for.


One thought on “For Dark Anger Burning

  1. Sarah, I am grateful for these honest words tonight. And I join you in both anger and frustration and even some fear, though I no longer teach anywhere nor do I have children who are young. I do have a 7 year old granddaughter whose Christmas pageant we were privileged to watch today. And I could only view it through tears. I wait to see what poetry emerges from your fingers as you sift and sort and ponder and rage.

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