I was stunned by the news of another school shooting yesterday. I did an immediate panic scan of schools I know to determine if Sandy Hook Elementary School was near me here in Southern California. I felt an immediate wave of guilty relief when I realized the tragedy took place on the other side of our country.
When I read of the death toll at lunch I felt ill. I could not write last night. I could not even think clearly. This type of news makes me feel helpless and weak. The more I follow a story like this in the news, the worse these feelings get. So I did not listen to the news or read my twitter feed yesterday. I concentrated on my work during the day and read a book while at home.
To those touched by this tragedy, please accept my most sincere condolences. To those nutballs who seized upon this tragedy to push a political or religious agenda, fuck off. My creative energy will go towards exposing your idiocy. More to follow on this later…
On a personal note, a man I respect at work stopped me in our restroom. He was crying. He looked into my eyes and said the words, "Those poor children." There was real anguish there. We hugged for a moment while he said a short prayer, and then we went our separate ways. I stopped to wash my face before walking back to my office. Our tears were real, and so was our shared pain. These senseless murders are a tragedy beyond comprehension. We each process our pain differently. I write. I cry. I hug. I struggle to understand and put the tragedy in context. I simply cannot ignore it. It would be nice if I could, but I think that would make me less human.
As my coworker prayed, I did not object. I did not push an agenda or mention that I was an atheist. I did not comment on the efficacy of his prayer. Instead, I stood for a few moments with my arm around an old-man's shoulders while he asked God to help those affected by this tragedy find peace. I don't see anything wrong with that.