Yesterday, I posted a video on my Facebook wall of an interview with the mother of Christina Taylor Green, the 9 year old girl who was killed in the Tuscon seige over the weekend. If you don’t know the story, Christina was born On September 11, 2001, and her father described her life as “inspirational” with tragic bookends. The story is stranger than what most fiction writers might dream up in their short stories. I haven’t heard of such a story about a child since Cassie Bernall’s story was shared regarding her belief in God as she stared into the eyes of the Columbine shooters in Colorado in 1999. She was shot and killed, and the story gripped America regarding her faith and ability to have the courage to face a killer and still profess her faith in God. (The story, in later years, has been disputed by some; however, at that time, it was a powerful drive for many to have courage in sharing their beliefs–whatever they might be.)
I was both surprised and encouraged when Marc Steiner, a journalist and Baltimore radio icon for decades, posted a comment about the video, stating that we “must do our best to quell the madness.” He was referring to all of us, of course, but especially those who have the opportunity to reach many individuals through print, radio, television, and social networking media resources.
I couldn’t agree with him more. I’d like to think that, thanks to the Maryland Writing Project and my own writing ventures, I’ve been able to do a little bit of that here and there. But that’s not enough. I am extremely fortunate to have many personal and professional relationships through my teaching and my writing, and I know there is more that I could be doing to work with individuals like Mr. Steiner to “quell the madness.”
I’m not sure exactly what that means. I can begin in my own backyard, and nearly immediately, with Lines of Love, Maryland Voices (a creative nonfiction publication for Maryland high school students), and Ravenwater Press. I’ve been wondering how these three projects of mine might be able to join forces and do some greater good. I feel encouraged to figure this out sooner than later and put my degree in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher to greater use.
Stay tuned. While I pull this all together, I encourage everyone to do the same. What can you do to help “quell the madness”?