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This is the way the world ends.

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

The ending words of this poem, The Hollow Men, from T.S. Eliot, drifted into my consciousness early Sunday morning as I prepared to go to church and livestream a service from an empty sanctuary.

The poem records an empty synaptic space, a space where we're paralyzed between stimulus and response, uncertain of how to react in a world-changing moment.

I've been reading about the lack of shared grief, of empathy, at a time when the coronavirus has taken nearly 100,000 American lives.

You want to scream but nothing comes out. You drink your coffee, then your wine. You stare into the screen.


In case death had not come near enough, in case evil had not made its dark power visible enough -- yesterday, about 20 blocks from my house, a black man named George Floyd was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer, who knelt on his neck until he collapsed. Millions…

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