My Lack of Opinions


I’m sure it won’t last, but I find myself lacking opinions on certain subjects.  Instead of thoughts, for example, I just have grief.  I have this tendency to imagine other people’s lives, and what they feel, and since sudden and terrible death is not unknown to me, what I imagine hurts in its details, in its horror…as it hurts all of us, whether or not we are intimate with evil.

Yesterday I was on the phone with a friend of mine out West.  I have been on a news blackout for much of my life (in self defense, because my freak near-photographic memory is not my friend when it comes to deeply imprinting violent images), so I have watched exactly zero of the news coverage of Sandy Hook Elementary School in the wake of the shooting.  I asked her to tell me about the bravery of the people–the ones who died, the first responders.  Not so I could have an opinion, but so I could put the anguish of the shooting of children into a world where people are also good, where they lose their lives trying to protect others, where they make life-saving decisions for others before they themselves are shot.

It didn’t make me grieve any less, but it did help to remember that for every horror in the world, there have been people fighting for good.

Of course, my news blackout ended today at the gym.  I have to remember not to go around noon, because all the tv’s are on some kind of news channel.  I ignored most of the news except for the Tom Brady interview (he’s too handsome to not watch), but then I briefly paid attention to a press conference with President Obama, and I heard a reporter blame him for not having already put better gun control in place.  It was really just terribly ugly.  That’s an opinion, but it’s the only one I’m going to have in this blog.

I would like to remember bravery.  I would like to remember that horror is not necessary (however much a part of our history it continues to be), but grief is.  I would like to turn back the clock, to make it go away, and since I can’t, I just remember what my friend told me–that there was a police officer assigned to every family affected by the shooting, that golden retrievers wander Newtown, available as sources of comfort, that our president addressed this event as unconscionable evil, that he offered compassion and understanding, and that he has the depth to do so.

I would like to imagine the somewhere in which a child is completely safe, right at this moment.

I wish I could do more, always.  May there be healing in this world, and for these people.  May we not travel down this road again.