Hospice folk know all about compassion fatigue - the feeling you have when you're tapped out, when you have no more kindness or empathy to give, when a heartbreaking story makes you shrug or turn away because you just can't do any more. I've experienced compassion fatigue, and when I can take a break - a vacation or an early afternoon or even just a quiet evening at home and an early bedtime - I return rested and renewed.
I feel fatigue now, but it's not compassion fatigue. I read about Trayvon Martin, and the shooting in Toulouse, and the idiocy coming from Rick Santorum, and the vileness of Rush Limbaugh, and the legislation in state after state after state forcing physicians to lie to patients and to rape women who are seeking a legal, medically indicated procedure, and I don't do anything. I don't say anything. I just - sit here. I am numb.
This must be a watershed. Something has to change. We are circling and circling in a widening gyre, and the center cannot hold.