news at 10

Sandy Hook shooter a mystery to neighbors and former classmates.

Yahoo! News – December 15, 2012

My wife and I are headed to the farmers market. She’s handing me pieces of tangerine while I’m driving. It’s good – sweet and juicy.

I have enough money in my pocket to buy a cup of coffee if I want one.

Maybe I’ll get out of the car and stare at the sun until my eyes blister.

I was on the phone last night with some of my dharma sisters. We got around to talking about evil. Does it exist. Is it a thing all its own that falls on people or infects them. Maybe it’s just how some of us are. Maybe it’s how we all are and we have to beat back that part of ourselves. And some people don’t make it and they get consumed and visit hell upon the rest of us.

There’s a handy thing about evil; it lets the rest of us say we had nothing to do with it.

We get to the market and right away I see Melinda. She’s a yoga teacher where I teach. We come up to each other and don’t say anything. We hold on to each other for a few breaths.

I watched some of it on teevee this morning. Stephanopoulos is on the scene talking to a priest. The priest knows some of the families, has baptized some of the kids. He’s been up all night trying to console the suffering. He’s barely holding it together. The usual statements. The interview ends, and the camera is still rolling. The priest breaks down. The two men embrace as the priest sobs. I’m so tired, he says.

Children are murdered every day. Families rubbed out. It’s part of the air, some places in the world. The rebels. The government. Some invader. Your kid’s at the well drawing water and somebody makes an example of her.

Seems so far away.

We try to keep our distance.

The bombs have fallen close to home this time.

There are heroes at the school. A teacher puts her own body in front of a bullet to protect her students. Her last act on earth is one of pure selflessness.

There’s a trio playing at the farmers market – mandolin, guitar and upright bass. The guitarist is the singer and she’s got her high lonesome going. Lots of people this morning and I can’t hear the words. But I know she’s singing about some hard times. That’s what we always sing about. They’ve got my foot tappin, and there’s a lump in my throat and I just about can’t stand all this.

One of my sisters from last night lives near the fallen town. She tells how in her own town people are going out of their way to be nice to each other.

The very worst thing would be to give up on each other.

We should say I love you every chance we get.

We should try to see Buddha and Jesus in everyone we meet.


I’ve told you the news that you already knew.

May all of the sweet souls of the victims be released into peace. May those who love them – may we all – find our way.


13 responses to “news at 10

  1. I took Friday off because I needed a “me” day. Needed to run errands, enjoy the sun and sing along to my tunes in the car. Long about noontime or there-abouts, I was struck with a sudden wave of nausea. I started breaking out in a feverish sweat, followed by freezing chills. At one point I even needed to pull off to the side of the road and dry heave. Was it something I ate, or was it because I’d had nothing but a tea all day? Was I being hit head on by the flu? No, it didn’t feel like that. It felt like something deeper and darker. Just as when Obi Wan was training Luke on Han Solo’s ship and Alderaan was destroyed, he stumbled and had to sit down, “I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened” (ok…I was a Star Wars junkie…what do you expect???)

    I came home to putter around and wait for the school bus. Iman came barreling in and said “Did you hear?? What’s WRONG with this world??” He proceeded to tell me the news (I stopped watching the news after 9/11). I had to sit down. It started in again…the waves of nausea, the temperature changes, and the vertigo. The world was spinning uncontrollably and upside down. “Stop” I said “I can’t hear anymore”. Being a “sensitive” one, I feel emotions from others as if they were my own. Over time I’ve learned to take them in and let them pass through, but what was coming at me was overwhelming. It was too much. Too much sorrow, too much pain, too much confusion; just too much.

    That night as I tried to lay and sleep, the spirits came. The voices, the blurred images…”Where’s my mommy, why can’t I hug her”, “Where’s Tucker, why can’t he play with me”, “Will Santa be able to find me?” “Why am I so cold?” “What’s going on?” Being the way that I am, I’m often a conduit for spirits. They come, they talk, and they go on their way. I like to think I provide them comfort, though I don’t know for sure. Again, this was too much. It was too close. I left my body and flew away, or maybe I ran away, to where I do not know. I didn’t return until morning.

    My dad called from Connecticut. He was very quiet. He was trying not to sob. “I remember when you used to teach Kris…that could have been you…” “Why do you think…” “How do they feel…” “How do you explain this to children…” “I went to the grocery store this morning and almost started crying when I saw the little kids shopping…” “I just wanted to hear your voice”. Now, I volunteer for Hospice. I have a “bag of tricks”, I’ve been trained. Death is no stranger to me and I don’t fear it. But I had nothing today. I had no words to ease his pain.Before I was born, I had a brother who died when he was but a few months old…I suspect this harkened back to that time for my dad. I had nothing to offer other than “I know Dad, it’s horrible. I love you”

    I went to the gym later that morning and the news was on the TV. Make it stop. I dove into my music and blasted it until I thought my ears would bleed. Run on the treadmill, find solace there. I went up to watch Ian practice his karate and grappling. Normal parents were there. Normally we all just smile, have small talk and watch. Today though, they all seemed to be taking turns talking with me. “Why do you think…” “What would you do…” “What about those parents…” “What about those kids…” Ok…I’m not a sage people, I don’t know! Make it stop. I’m hurting too but I can’t fix this. All I can do is listen, and listen I did…to every last one of them. I might not have answers but maybe it helped to ease their hurts, even if just a little.

    That afternoon we went to see The Hobbit. I found solace in Gandalf and Bilbo. I found sanctuary in the dark theater, with my family and popcorn. Ahh, I could breathe again.

    I can usually make sense of just about anything. I can usually find something good in everyone. This one has me lost. Was this a wake-up call? Are we as a society so lost that children need to be sacrificed to make us wake up? Are we so far gone that we’ve grown numb and forgotten how to love and care and be kind? If that premise holds true, WILL we wake up? Am I just grasping at straws trying to make sense out of something that makes no sense? How much pain do we have to endure? How many hearts have to be broken? How much needs to be lost for us to care?

    I don’t understand. Perhaps I’m not meant to. Perhaps it doesn’t matter if I’m able to make sense of this or not. All I know is that children and those that protected them, needlessly lost their lives. If we can’t learn at least SOMEthing from this, then I fear we are in fact truly lost.

    The world has turned upside down and wrong side out. I hope that when it goes back to its place, we are all a little more kind, a little more loving, and a little more caring. If not for ourselves, then in honor of those who left this earth far too soon…


  2. I can’t make sense of this either. I love all your depictions. I smelled the tangerine, heard the soulful cry/singing of the guitarist, I saw your foot tapping I felt every pain.

    and this…”We should try to see Buddha and Jesus in everyone we meet.”, I feel it in my spirit.


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