A Witch Hunt and a Polaroid

Fragments of Evidence

I occasionally recognize a series of events that examined in isolation would be filtered by my perspective as insignificant. But time threads otherwise disparate moments together. Patterns with hints of meaning emerge. Serendipity.

This morning’s “social news” included an article about a classroom exercise using the Salem Witch trials as a theme to explore what happens to groups of people who create tribes founded in fear of other people. Shortly after reading this, I began a new chapter in a novel, and the story turned to a group of neighbors who ignite a witch hunt against a man on their street who takes photographs of children. Before sitting down to read, I adjusted the couch cushion and found an over-exposed Polaroid taken by my child.

I hear a cautionary voice, perhaps spoken from a trench of similar fears, warning me about attributing significance where none is warranted. Maybe. Another voice, perhaps spoken from a hill of suffering and love tells me to pay attention. Hopefully.