I am thinking this morning about those dear kids, their loved ones, and their teachers and coaches. I sit and cry and cry, and then I try to figure out how to start this day.
A five-year-old girl wakes up and, wearing nothing but Wonder Woman undies, rides a giant plush unicorn into the living room. The day starts.
But then she is at school by a magic of propulsion and happenstance because, surely, I can no longer send this beautiful, wild creature into a school. Not today. But she is there now. And if anything happens to her, this world and myself will be unforgivable.
I don't think we are made to withstand this kind of tragedy.
That seems right. But then I look around me and understand--that's the only reason some of us are here, because people have withstood (and, of course, are at this exact moment) so much and somehow survived. Maybe violence of such scale from within one's own community is a different kind of...whatever this is. I don't know. Maybe I am staying with big thoughts because the other thoughts are so very hard.
So hard that I come back to myself (it never takes long) and to the human body and mind and how these vessels might not be built to hold such sorrow and senseless tragedy, even from a distance. And that if by some miracle of biology and grace, they can--for they must!--then we must mindfully bear witness. We--I should switch to the "I" here: I must break a little, for if I don't, I'm afraid then I will become fully broken. I'm afraid of how many times this has happened. I am afraid of how many times I've looked away.
All of this is talking from a distance this morning, a distance brought about only by luck and circumstance, I'm afraid. I am devastated and unsure how we continue in a world like this, a world seemingly of our own making. Even our words mean so little now.
My heart and my mind aches waking again to stories of teacher turned hero, of kids texting loved ones goodbye. I'm so angry and hurt for those kids and the parents and loved ones who received those words over their phones and then had to wait for hours to know what the rest of their days were going to look like. And those who will never get to wake their sleepy teenager again and prod her out the door to school. I sit and I cry and I wonder how we can go on like this. How did we send our children to school today? How will we tomorrow?