And then watching our Prime Minister, Trudeau, pause for 21 tense seconds, when asked to comment directly on Trump's actions. . . Those 21 seconds have been interpreted in so many ways in the hours since, that silence echoing and echoing. They have been fodder for his opponents, but I'm not the only one who has read their eloquence.
Even if I were the only one, I tell myself, the possibilities of that silence -- and more, the absolute necessity for it -- resonated so forcefully, so immediately within me.
I think the vehement noise of these protests against the world is a terrifyingly beautifully, and I hope violently rendering, noise. But I need space and silence to discern my best contribution.
Even as I write this, I begin stretching my thoughts into explanation and rationalization. I identify a wish to defend my intuitive wish (need!) for silence against potential charges of political quietism (not from you, I know, but there is an understandable imperative for action, for striking while the iron is hot, and I have read many impatient, chiding, even shaming comments all across our digital communities). I'm not going to do that, I've decided.
I'm going to sit in the silence and the defensiveness and the anger and the sadness and the horror and the hope. . . and do my best to listen and discern and witness and act.
My friend Sue -- at High Heels in the Wilderness wrote the kind of post I'd like to have been able to write for you today. . . I think you'd like it. . . She quotes my recommendation of Ibram X Kendi's How To Be an Anti-Racist. . . a very good starting point for sorting out your response to this crucial historical moment.