My bubble popped today, the outside world slipped in on the back of a 21 year old blonde man-boy named Dylann who could sit through a prayer meeting and then shoot the participants.
At lunch, there was a moment of silence for those killed in the massacre, and then a kind man and woman told me the news. people who probably understood that it would fuck me up a little bit. And then I went back to the studio and quickly read Mother Jones and Alternet and the New York Times, Salon and Slate, all the sites I had put a mental block on so I could finish my book and set up a new life here two weeks ago. After an hour, I had to stop. Head swirled, chest raw. Close the computer and walk into the sun.
There is no sense to be made of hatred and armed stupidity, such horrific racism.Dressed in a flak jacket for protection, he looked like a 15-year old playing dress-up.
There may not be words. The man who dove in front of his mother, those who protected children. The woman chosen to be a witness.
I walked to a bend in the river, past the garden, and passed three blonde boys—one outside Wicked Wings restaurant, one playing with his mother by the bridge, another on a bike flirting with three girls. I sat on a shoal and took off my shoes, listened to the newest Beck album, which maybe makes no sense but it is about morning and waking. Laid on the ground, looked at the sliver of moon winced into blue sky. Collected stones and made a cairn, found twigs in the river and fashioned a cross whip stitched with reeds. Some gesture needed to be made.
At some point when the tracks starting looping again, I took off my noise cancelling headphones and listened to the water running over rocks, the constant flow. The boy and three girls now swimming in the river, laughing into their first days of summer. On my way back, I stopped by one of my favorite places here at VSC. The trees are planted in rows and there is a white bench at one end of the glade, a carpet of green, fractions of sky. It feels like the quiet room at the top of the library, my favorite sacred space, the leaves like books stacking the edges.
No poetry could be sent out on such a day. 40 hours collapsed into a moment of story, that I'd give anything to have be fiction. But it’s not a novel, and it’s sadly not novel. I will be thankful for the good people that surround me here, the kindness, root into that. The water. An opening inside trees. Empty my chest of sickness.
Back in my studio, a tab on my computer showed the lastest news. A video, daughter of a slain woman facing Dylann in the courtroom, forgiving him, begging for mercy on his soul.
1. newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent or important events.
2. a broadcast or published report of news; current events reported in the mass media.