Sunday, June 12, 2016

injaynesworld we "Shelter in Place..."

I awoke this morning to gentle cloud cover over the peaceful landscape of my rural valley.  I breathed in the cool air, gazed out at the beauty that surrounds and nourishes me and gave thanks to God for such blessings. Coffee was brewed, dogs fed, I planned my day: Some writing this morning, a ride on my horse mid-day, plants to water and trim this afternoon, and tonight “The Tonys.”  I cursed CBS for not broadcasting them live on the West Coast and that was my biggest concern of the morning.

Then I turn on the Internet.  I do this with some trepidation because yesterday morning I did so only to find that some mad man had gunned down 22-year-old singer Christina Grimmie; a beautiful, young girl whose life held such promise, now gone. Although, not a day goes by without news of a killing somewhere, it often passes my attention like background noise, a steady hum that one learns to tune out, for to focus on each senseless death would plummet us into a state of constant grief. 

My Internet opens to Google news.  I expect some additional details on Grimmie’s killer.  I expect to still feel anger.  I expect to still feel sorrow for the Grimmie family.  I do not expect:

 - ‎51 minutes ago‎

Orlando, Florida (CNN) A gay nightclub here was the scene early Sunday of the worst terror attack in U.S. history since 9/11. * 50 people were killed inside the Pulse club and at least 53 people were injured, police say.

My mind explodes, thoughts shooting off in all directions like a rack of pool balls, its whole shattered, its parts seeking escape, much like what I imagine the inside of that nightclub to have been:  The terror, the shock, the complete horror that this could be happening – again. 

I can’t watch the news.  I can’t absorb such carnage anymore.  My mind struggles to comprehend the incomprehensible.  What was it I was going to write about today?  Any attempt at words now seems foolish and self-serving, yet I yearn for some order. 

Raised in an age where murder was mostly the stuff of cops-and-robbers shows, where nobody carried around guns unless they were hunting, where a TV news story of a killing was still considered aberrant, the world I see now so rampant with disregard for human life is unrecognizable.  When did this mass madness infect us?  How did we get here?  How do we cope?

Outside my window, my personal world remains untouched.  The hillsides the color of wheat dotted with oak trees; deer graze, a spring-born fawn at their sides, birds continue their song.  The contrast is surreal.  I turn off the Internet, turn off the television, shut out everything but that directly in my view.  I pull this cloak of serenity around me, huddle in its comfort, tell myself I’m safe.  I shelter in place.  

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