Sometimes I feel like I have to create to survive, or maybe just to briefly release my mind from the terror of recent national events.

It’s taken a while for me to even feel something, anything about the mass shootings, but now that it’s sunken in, it’s here in full force. For a while, I distracted myself with the emotional outbursts on Facebook –the “meme level” of comprehending this tragic bloodshed– and allowed myself to focus on the gun control/mental health debate instead of the real issues. As much as I think additional regulation for firearms as well as investments for mental health care are important, sometimes this seems like a pseudo-debate designed relegate these murderers to the category as “other” and “apart” to trick us into feeling safe, instead of wondering why white men think “man card” is synonymous with murdering children. After 9/11 the country relegated all those with brown skin, hijabs, turbans and head scarves into the category of enemy. When the danger is white men,┬áthe demographic most likely to be responsible for “killing sprees, leading dangerous cults, or plotting acts of violent treason“,┬áthe same profiling doesn’t occur… instead the blame is shifted to the mentally ill, a statistically non-violent segment.

I haven’t been sleeping well lately, because of all of this mulling around in my brain. The realization we all want to avoid: that violence exists all around us and every day people are hurting each other, bombing children and other innocents and abusing the people they say they love. That all we can do is show some kindness, practice our “there’s a shooter in the building” scenario and take the time to find the sweetness that does exist in the world. I’m going to try to keep this in mind as i put the finishing touches on my knitted gifts, and hope that those more directly affected by the shootings can find peace as well.