bearing witness

I was walking my sons to the library when extremists mobbed the Capitol. As they waved Confederate flags in its hallways, I pulled mittens snugly on my youngest’s hands. When legislators were sheltering in place, I held his arm while descending the snow scraped hillside. When they replaced the American flag with a Trump one, my sons were flipping through an old Tintin, reading about a coup in a country that doesn’t quite exist. Kind of like here.

I am lucky my sons are so young. I have time for longer explanations later. But what should we say to our nation’s children this morning? How do we speak of unspeakable things we witnessed in real time? How do we talk to each other? Where do we begin? Because I can’t find the words. I’m struggling to even read them.

I find myself stuck on the image Reuters photographer Mike Theiler captured yesterday. A white man who stormed the halls of democracy wielding a Confederate flag like he owned the place. This was America yesterday.

Where do we go from here?

Mike Theiler of Reuters was at the Capitol to bear witness of the siege. He captured this shot.

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