I have been having a hard time processing the rising number of hate crimes in this country. Harder still processing the seeming silence of so many, both in my own life and on the political stage. Every time an Indian American man is killed I hug my half-Indian boyfriend tighter, wondering if he will be next. Every time I text him to get paper towels on his way home, I wonder if my simple request is what will get him killed. When he wears his Sith costume to DM a Star Wars game or wears a kurta to work, I wonder if that is what will get him mistaken for a terrorist by some idiot who cannot even properly identify the people he ignorantly hates.
But this recent act of terrorism in Portland, that claimed two lives and nearly claimed a third, has affected me more than I was prepared for. After two nearly sleepless nights and a fullblown anxiety attack while watching Harry Potter Weekend, I tried to process my feelings by putting them into words. Words, whether spoken, written, sung, keened, or carved in stone on a memorial are how we process these evils. How we remember who sacrificed and for what. Stories of heroes like Arthur, Aragorn, and Harry Potter are what we need when the world grows dark and uncertain and the right path grows more daunting or harder to find.
These fictional heroes are the best of us, our real flesh and blood heroes writ large across timeless stories that are still very much stories of their times. This is why I became a writer in the first place. So I hope you will take the time to read my words. I hope that they help in some small way as we, like Theoden, wonder what to do against such reckless hate. Continue reading