The Turning Gem

Music, Film, Family


I’m not here
This isn’t happening

I started this website for a very personal reason. I wanted to find peace within the chaos of my frustrations. Specifically those that had to deal with spirituality. In doing so, I hoped others would find some sort of peace through what I had learned. Over time, not surprisingly, my writing slowed to a snails pace. But it has not been because of a lack of inspiration, or having run out of things to say. On the contrary, there is an over abundance of material to ponder.

The COVID-19 pandemic that has taken over the globe, some say, has left its mark. I tend to lean more toward the “you ain’t seen nothin’ yet” side of the fence. There was a time, deep in the center of the quarantine, that I considered writing a post about how every family in the world probably had their own quarantine story, and wanted to explore what that might mean sociologically. A fascinating idea, attempting to discover the potentially universal commonalities.

I spent some time inviting others to join me here to write Turning Gem material, expressly for the purpose of sharing optimistic viewpoints of pessimistic experiences, like being quarantined for several months of our lives. This, just so you know, is still the plan. But the world has gotten even crazier, and I just have to say my peace.

“Take a look at the lawman

Beating up the wrong guy

Oh man, wonder if he’ll ever know

He’s in the bestselling show

Is there life on Mars?”

— From “Life in Mars?” by David Bowie

I am not interested in participating in a one-sided argument. The very nature of my being here is to learn from hard to understand things, and opposing viewpoints. However, over the past few days I have seen and heard things I simply cannot see a bright side in.

Another innocent Black man held down and killed by an openly racist police officer. That is not a new story. Peaceful protests in response to the killing turned violent. Not a new story. Some folks oppose the protests. Some folks applaud the protests. The air thick with conflict and confusion. Not new stories. There are some things that are entirely new.

We, as a country, are just coming out of a months-long self-isolation period, and we’re barely able to see straight. Tension is a heavier word than it used to be. The economy is all jacked up, and those who still have jobs have barely been back a week. You can’t get an ice cream cone for your kids at the beginning of Summer because you’re afraid someone might literally breathe too closely to them. It’s an absolutely insane moment in our history, and then George Floyd was murdered.

One thing after another. That is how things have been for the last several years. One unbelievably difficult challenge followed closely by yet another unbelievably difficult challenge. We’ve all been running a marathon against our will, and we’re all starting to trip over our own legs.

I don’t think I’m being unfair when I say we need a leader right now. We don’t have to like this person, but we do need to trust… that this person can help us. ALL of us. Our nation is in need of healing. We ALL need some commonality, humility, and grace. This is what leaders do. They get their people through the tough times by uniting them in a common purpose.


Seems to me that’s what we’re starting to see in the streets. And then a man armed with a Bible as a prop, surrounded by a bunch of white dudes, steps out of hiding long enough to call for violence against his own people?!

I’m sorry, I just can’t “turn the gem” on that one, folks. I don’t know if there is an angle to this that will end up forming any sort of rainbow tinted anything. I honestly don’t remember a time in my life that I have felt so… just blank. I don’t know that there is anything to do but stand back and watch.

It’s the freakiest show.

So, please, if anyone reading this can help me find some light within all of this darkness… please share some with me, yeah?

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