In December 2012, I added this quote to this picture. It was during the days following the shooting in Newtown, CT, in which 20 children and 6 adults were murdered in their elementary school. In the years since, I’ve shared it again and again . . .

And now, again. Like many of you, I am shocked at and angry about the shootings in El Paso, TX, and Dayton, OH. I’m also quite sad. I’m again avoiding news coverage, not wanting to relive what has become a routine in our lives: the shooting, the questions, the finger pointing, the stories of the victims and the heroes, the candlelight vigils, the “hashtag strong” t-shirts, the inaction.

Instead, I go out to the garden and weed so I can contemplate and think — but this time, there was only so much weeding I could do. Somewhere during that weeding time, I thought of this photo — and in the wake of El Paso and Dayton and the recent passing of Toni Morrison, the author of the quote, the photo seemed sadly appropriate.

I wish you all peace and comfort during these sad and maddening times.

8 thoughts on “Again

  1. It’s a beautiful photo that sadly fits where we are today…again. I find words so inadequate. I want to say it’s “unfathomable,” and yet when we begin to see patterns, recognizing events as frequent occurrences, does “unfathomable” really fit? I’ve avoided visual news coverage, but have used the radio and print to follow what I can and I am angry without a clue as to what to do with that. Gardening is one thing, and we’re leaving town and I will play a couple of days with an adorable 2-year old. I worry about my grandchildren. The girls take active shooter drills in school as a routine matter of course. Thank you for your thoughtful post, Kevin. I think we all need to stick together in our grief.

    • Hi Debra. I find myself avoiding news coverage for lots of reasons these days. It’s really too much — and I am so deeply saddened that we are creating this new normal for children. I remember being a child and practicing air raid drills in school, but active shooter drills feel different. When I worked in a high school, I participated in them — and it’s a strange thing to lock oneself in a room and to hide. Even when I worked in retail recently, there was active shooter training — and it included looking for items to use to fight back. I don’t like this new normal. I don’t like that I’m not shocked when a shooting happens. I don’t like that we’re making this normal for all of us and for future generations. I don’t like that there’s now a market for bullet-proof backpacks. I don’t like that some municipalities are allowing teachers to be armed. I have yet to meet a single educator who has said they wanted to be a teacher so they can shoot a bad guy. I don’t mean to get political, but I don’t think it’s normal to feel like a sitting duck or that I have to hope no one who enters the supermarket where I’m shopping is having a really bad day. I do agree that we have to stick together and work toward change.

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