“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

7.23.2012

aurora - from northeast texas


last night a crescent moon in a misty sky.  despite everything.

i tried to write about friday and failed.
i only have words and they are worthless.
what i thought on friday was my god  a thousand times,
in response to the slaughter,
in response to blame being assigned to everyone and everything except the shooter.

but that's what we do.
we want answers when there are none.
that no answers  thing is the scariest thing of all.

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i'd turned on the tv without sound as i usually do, turned on the computer, and looked up to see the words scrawling across the bottom of the screen.  and i thought my god, and i thought how many? and i turned up the volume.  with the first few details i thought white guy, and i thought crazy, which is no doubt politically incorrect to say, but i thought it anyway.  i thought they will blame the guns, they will blame the movie, they will blame his parents, and i thought what is wrong with us?, and i had to remind myself that bad things happen sometimes no matter what you do.

i thought we can't fix this, all we can do is learn to live through it, if possible.  i thought we need survival skills; we aren't taught those, but we should be and we need them.  i thought of the passengers on flight 93, thought we needed to be those people, but also thought i have no idea if i can.

by late afternoon i'd heard blame assigned where i hadn't expected - rush limbaugh, president obama, the tea party, and i had to stop listening.  i saw a reporter refusing to step away from the shooter's father as he stood in line at the airport, waiting for the flight to aurora, and i had to stop watching. i'd discussed it with friends, not searching for an answer, just needing to say words out loud.  the panic attack hit at 7, while i stood in the grocery store, and it pushed me back into the evening heat, hurrying me home.

the tv stayed off and i worked crossword puzzles and read a bad romance novel.  but even there, in those pages, there it was.  scotland, the 1500s or 1300s, i have no idea - people rounded into a church and the church set afire.  i thought of the same scene in mel gibson's the patriot.  i suppose if one wants to kill a lot of helpless people, there all all kinds of ways to do it.  bullets aren't necessary.

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at work this morning i found a doubleleaf heart waiting for me outside the door.
when the ups guy showed up i said give me your hand, and he did.
i like the way he's holding that leaf as if might break.

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22 comments:

  1. This made me cry. We may come to the table with different viewpoints; but, at the end of the day, all we really want is to connect with each other and the decency that we know must be there. I am glad to count you as a friend.

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  2. yes. there is nothing to blame except whatever goes wrong inside one person. and it has been going on forever, so it's not about movies or religion or politics. it's just one twist of madness in a vulnerable human mind.

    you are so right about needing to teach people survival skills. in a way, it honours the goodness of the human race, to acknowledge that sometimes the goodness can be spoiled, lost, and then we need to protect ourselves and other people.

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    1. yes. i often think of the book "cold mountain". a fabulous book, but i have never been able to reread it - it was so painful. i waited years to watch the movie. the lessons that had to be learned, the deaths and the horrible way some people treated others.

      i think we forget we are not the first to know despair.

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  3. you know i always like your words, they comfort me and enthrall me. here, no exception.

    but this is what i take away from your post...the photo of gorgeous, masculine hands proving, as a counterpoint, that men are fully capable of bold and healing compassion.

    that is what i want to focus on.

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    1. juan's hands. the hands of a worker. all i said was hold this leaf and he took it as if it were the most precious thing in the world.

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  4. life is so fragile. The only thing I really should take away from any senseless tragedy is that. simply. life. its fragile.

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    1. life is fragile, and perhaps it is the only thing we can learn from such events. perhaps. thank you.

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  5. and it might break. but that man in your photo, he is there to pick it up, to hold it, to show us there is another way. there is goodness.
    we don't get answers, we only get to go on, with our hearts on our sleeves or in the palms of other's hands.
    xoxo

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    1. we get to go on. i think we must hold to that truth, embrace that. i think we owe those who have lost that chance at least that. xoxox

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  6. You are quite right, sometimes there are no answers, and some things we just cannot fix. And yes, life is fragile, so very fragile.

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    1. we so want to fix it, and i guess that's human nature. i want to believe it is - to help. we feel powerless when it seems we can't. hard, hard, hard.

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  7. geez. boy howdy.
    you hit a lot of emotions and sentiments square on the head.
    i love your honesty.
    bless you for speaking, for seeing, for laying that doubleleaf heart in the ups man's hand....
    xx

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    1. i was so lost writing this until that leaf showed up. until that hand showed up. a moment of inspiration. thank you.

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  8. Deb, I haven't read your wonderful writing in ages. Why this one today I have no idea. Except that your words feel like my words. Your thoughts were exactly what my thoughts were. Thank you for reminding me how much we are the same in end. Thank you for this wonderful post. I'm going to share it on Facebook if you don't mind....

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    1. there were several of us who wrote about this day as seen from our personal spaces, and that idea began with the realization that, despite differing political views and/or what we thought we could do or not do when horrible things like this happen, in the end we were all normal people - good people - who were just heartbroken.

      thank you for the share. xoxo

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  9. I know this was not easy for you to write; I know you had questions and doubts and yet here it is a uniting piece that makes me ever happier to know you.

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    1. thank you for putting up my wussiness. thank you for participating in this and telling your story. you made it happen.

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  10. Lord. Blame. Freaking really??? Sometimes I get so weary of our silly human grind that I could just lay down among heart shaped leaves & never rise...
    I don't watch much TV. And that is one of the main reasons~sensationalism when nuanced inquiry is needed, disrespect when space is called for.
    I get my news from the computer & there is plenty of contentiousness there also, of course, but I bypass much of that.
    *deep breath*
    So grateful for Juan and for you and for the ability to wake today with tragedy having passed over my doorpost once again.

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    1. to be honest, most of the blame i saw was on the internet, excepting the tea party thing. there was really no place to go - like you, i just have to sometimes take a deep breath and ignore it. it always saddens me.

      and yes. i was even grateful during the panic attack - which meant i was safe and alive and feeling. xoxox

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  11. i have no words for what happened in aurora....only a broken spirit of sorts....

    to think that another human being, who god loves the same as he loves us....????.....could do this.

    when shit like this happens, it's when i have a hard time understanding anything.

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  12. This photograph has firmly stuck in my mind--I've been thinking of it often since yesterday morning when I first saw it.
    Delicacy in the hands of a UPS guy? Seemingly incongruous... Point and counterpoint...

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