I was that kid.
The one who could feel every tag in a shirt collar or toe seam in a sock. Maybe you were that kid, too. Or perhaps you raised a kid who would become completely unglued if something itched or didn’t feel quite right. Maybe your kid drove you as nuts as you drove your own mother when it came to tags.
I haven’t been a kid in forever, but I still cut the tags out of most of my clothing. In fact, just this morning I had this nagging feeling that something wasn’t just right and took a scissors to a tag. If I was elected queen of the world I would outlaw tags in collars. Half the time, the dang things are sewn in with what appears to be fishing line and I end up slicing through the collar seam before I can even get the tag off. I would love to know why some people Be-bop through life oblivious to tags and others don’t. I envy people who seem to be able to ignore the itch and just get on with it. I want to be that kind of human. One wired to focus on the silver linings instead of the tags. However, when it comes to clothing, and pretty much everything else, that’s just not me.
In other news…Social media is rallying for the people of Paris. I would like to be able to say that acknowledging the tragedy and mourning the victims this way is the best we can do when faced with the unimaginable. For a couple of days after a Really Bad Thing happens, we line up to offer commentary and condolences, say a prayer, maybe have a plate of virtual hot dish in the church basement. We walk back into the sunlight, thankful it wasn’t anyone we actually knew.
I speak from experience. I watched the news unfold on Friday evening, too, and all I could think about was how grateful I was that all of my people were safe thousands of miles from that stadium or concert hall or sidewalk café. I’m painfully aware of how selfish that sounds. I thought about how terrified the parents of students on trips abroad must have been as they heard the first reports on the news.
I want to think of mundane and silly things today, and write about them, too. Things like tags. I don’t want to think too hard about the fact that another terror attack took place in Beirut the day before the ones in Paris, or that a Russian airliner dropped from the sky over the Sinai a week ago, or that Syrian toddlers in sodden, orange, life jackets continue to wash up on the world’s beaches.
But the truth of the matter is this. We are all connected in the most profound and terrible ways, whether we choose to see it or not. We can pretend that we aren’t or try to focus on other things, but it doesn’t change the fact that my humanity is tied to yours.
It’s tied to that toddler on the beach, and the tourist in the café.
To those preaching peace, and to the ones bent on destroying it, too.
And as much as I’d prefer to ignore this, I can’t.