I didn’t put this up because it seemed to be spreading so fast on Facebook. Anyway, here it is.
That column could go wrong so many ways–Seamus Heaney’s “Tollund Bog Men”, Yates “What Rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” or John Lennon’s “Love is the answer. Imagine there’s no heaven” which would profoundly hurt me thinking there isn’t an eternal justice, a court of last resort, that redresses injustices like Newtown.
Your piece reminded me of my first time visiting New York after 9/11. A few months had already passed. The first thing to visually confront me at Grand Station were the search notices. I called them the crying posts. It was so sad to read others homely search for family and friends. It was also so sad to observe others reading them and shedding tears.
As I walked down a few streets, I was especially struck at how perfect strangers, mostly women, looked me in the eyes smiled and said hello. Of course my man side secretly came out and I thought that this is the place to now find a good woman without really trying. They were so friendly. And of course, shell shocked by recent events.
I wondered at the time how long it would take before big city modes returned and these folks returned to their more defensive selves. Meaning, not unfriendly but reserved and suspicious.
Yes, women no longer spontaneously smile at me as I walk down a street. I can’t help to think that a renewed desire to be courteous and a little kinder remains in all of us as these horrific events unfold. Maybe it’s me who feels gentler toward others as I age. I have always held the door open for anyone behind me. I am quick to smile without maintaining a permanent glaze.
So as we move away in time from that hellish moment in time, and I think of the needless loss, I find myself shedding a tear – mostly when at home or while driving. Moments alone. And then I go to the bank and have a squabble with a bank officer over some trivial matter.
And I wonder if things are getting a little better or if indeed, we are doomed to forget events by way of time only until the next disaster visits and the media unfurls their tents once again to entrance us all.