I want to take a quick minute to write this addendum to the last post, in light of realizing that some of you heard a statement that I don’t think I made. Nothing is wrong, everyone was civil with their feedback, but since at least a couple commenters interpreted that I said something like, “you should be sad for all tragedies everywhere just as much as you are sad for the Connecticut tragedy,” I assume other readers did as well, and there is probably no harm in taking a moment to clarify.
First, everybody had a different reaction last Friday. Nobody’s reaction is wrong. I don’t care who is sadder than who, who feels sicker than others, who feels no emotion about it.
My reaction was all over the place. I felt sick. Then fine. Then sad. Then angry. And so on. But then I got stuck in this place where I tried to make sense of it, make sense of how it could possibly happen, make sense of why it was hard to just STOP thinking about it for one freaking hour.
In trying to make sense of things, I thought about the familiar. I thought about the senseless tragedies that have affected my own relatives. Thought about what it felt like to be six years old. Thought about how the city I have lived in for 5 years deals with murder weekly. I thought about how the shootings that happened thousands of miles away from me in Newton, Connecticut felt closer in my gut than those that happen regularly one mile from my front door. I wondered why, of all the terrible that exists and always has existed, this one terrible thing keeps haunting me, us.
When I referred to Oakland, to the Holocaust, to the fact that a (thankfully) minuscule number of humans have been terrible for all of history and in every country, to the observation that modern tragedies unfold in an unfamiliar way with modern media, there was no message as to what that means and how we should react.
I didn’t make any bold statement, I didn’t make any conclusion, because I do not have one. They were musings. Random reflections.
Comments off, this is just an addendum, if you have further thoughts let’s hop back over to the original post. Hope we’re all good, and if we survive the omen of the Mayan calendar, I have a much happier post coming up.