Dear President Trump,
Has the confluence of Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday made it into your awareness? Even though you aren’t especially religious and you don’t seem at all spiritual, you are probably still tracking that today is Ash Wednesday and it’s impossible to miss Valentine’s Day in the US. I just read that the last time these two events fell on the same day was 1945. I know it’s just how the calendar cycles happen to work, but it’s interesting that the last time they occurred on the same day was when the world was still in the grip of World War II (it wouldn’t end until September, 1945) and things most certainly had to look very bleak and scary to most people then. And here we are 73 years later and things most certainly look very bleak and scary to a great many, if not most, people in the world. Then, as now, people did not know whether totalitarian dictatorships were going to take over the free world. Then, as now, people didn’t know whether their families were going to be ripped apart by nihilistic forces and they didn’t know whether any country would give them asylum. Then, as now, people didn’t know how they were going to survive on the meager, tainted rations they were being allotted but they did know that at any time the stingy hand that deigned to feed them could be withdrawn entirely or could turn into a fist. Then, as now, people didn’t know whether they were going to be shot and killed, whether they were lined up along a mass grave they had to dig themselves or they were leaving school to go to their part-time job or basketball practice.
I started this letter in the morning before work and since coming back to it tonight at least seventeen more people have died in yet another mass shooting at yet another school carried out by yet another gun man with yet another semi-automatic rifle. The world practically tore itself apart during WWII and we seem to be tearing ourselves up in much the same way now. We are tolerating atrocities because some stand to make money from the moving parts that feed said atrocities.
Maybe the universe layered Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday together this year to point us back to those dark days in 1945 when it looked like the world was going to implode with hatred to get us to see that we are heading to the brink again and that the only antidote is lots and lots of love.
May we be safe.
May we be happy.
May we be healthy.
May we live peaceful lives and may we die peaceful deaths.