So goes Ecclesiastes, and so goes Roger McGuinn. The slaughter of the day is barely 6 hours old. Myself, I only woke up to it 4 hours ago. Another massacre on the television. It seems like I've seen this program before, but there was something more hideous this time. The victims were children, five year olds, six year olds, seven, eight, nine and ten year olds. I can even believe I am typing these words. I am just now facing the reality of it. Food doesn't feel so well in my stomach and nothing seems appropriate right now but this, writing, thinking, processing. I can't deal with anymore facts. They seem to have no meaning right now. Somewhere in this country parents are dealing with the unthinkable, the unfathomable. Somewhere in our country there are children who have seen what no one, not a fireman, policeman or soldier should ever have to see. Our national mourning is just beginning. The obsession over what has just happened has already begun. Radios, TVs and computer screen are bleeding facts, shock, pictures, interviews and disbelief. If only it were not true, if only.
I have no 6 year old of my own to hold, hug and cry over. I've never felt the absence so keenly. Since I don't pray, now is not a good time to start, but if I did, I would be. I'd pray, Lord, what can I do to prevent this, to keep another parent or child from seeing this, feeling this and when can I start? What, what, what should I do Lord? What should I do?
There is no TV on in my home right now and there will not be. I do not feel like being entertained, gazing into the abyss or even talking for that matter. I had hoped to say something here that would matter, give someone some bit of hope to hang on to, some word they share with their family, something. I'm not sure what that something could be. Right now I just want to be with someone, someone who does pray. Someone not to talk with, but to seek some peace with, someone to our hearts with, someone to cry with, someone who care, a stranger preferably. Why? Because these days it seems everyone is a stranger. We all walk around in our private little worlds, with our private angers, hopes and fears, It takes a disaster, a 9/11, a Columbine, and now a Newtowne, Connecticut to knock down these walls we surround ourselves with. So what am I going to do? I'm going to walk. I'm going to look into the faces of these strangers, into their eyes and see whatever kind of pain is there and acknowledge it. I don't need to know what it is, I just want them to know that I care and that maybe they care to. Maybe they can take that home to their loved ones.
Children will never understand something like this. Till now, I guess they never had to. My hope is that parents all over this city will turn off their TVs, their radios, their computer and sit with their little one, pray with them, read to them or just hold them. There will be time enough in their lives to deal with horror, but this is not that time. Let them wait five, ten, twenty years to learn about hate and evil. Let them learn now that they are loved and protected and that as long as you are there, nothing will ever harm them. This may not be true, but they don't need to know that, yet.
The politicians and pundits are already all over this. I can't listen to them. I can't stand it and I won't stand for it. This is not that time. God knows we'll have plenty of time in the days to come. In the mean time, if you have any prayers left, say one for me. I'll be going for a walk and thinking about you.