This isn’t just about talking down crazy, as those on comment threads would say to diminish this as an alternative path to arming ourselves to the teeth. This is about connecting with another human being and not only not being afraid of the depth of their pain, desperation, and despair, but being courageous enough to share it with them.
Isn’t that the only thing that makes any of us crazy? Disconnect and pain and how no one wants to really face it, let alone connect to it? Yet, facing it and connecting to it is the only cure for crazy. Being allowed to be fully human. Being loved through all the beauty and the agony that is being human.
That this happened in Atlanta, Georgia and that Antoinette is a black woman and the gunman a white man takes the depth of this beauty and courage to an even more expansive place. It is powerful testimony to the power of embracing our own shadow so that we’re not scared of others’–even those that persecute us, that see us as the enemy and treat us as such.
I can only imagine that her tale was one of betrayal, heartbreak, bad luck, disappointment, and the forgiveness that inevitably followed, the hope that strung each event together and kept her life from completely unraveling in those places where there didn’t seem to be any options or chance of the future being any different…