There has been a lot of death and dying in the world lately. I know that there usually is, but it isn’t such a presence in our lives as it has been in mine this past week. Robin Williams was a man who inserted himself and his comedy into my life so I didn’t realize how much he was there. Lauren Bacall was also someone I admired greatly. She was strong, beautiful, and managed to make a Hollywood marriage work (with a lot of help from Bogey, I’m sure).
The news from Ferguson is so disturbing. I thought we had seen the worst of this kind of thing in the 1960s, with maybe a small reprise during the LA riots. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/08/14/michael-brown-ferguson-missouri-timeline/14051827/ explains the situation pretty well, but it doesn’t touch on the many eyewitnesses who said that Michael Brown was not reaching for the officer’s gun. It also doesn’t mention the tens of journalists arrested for reporting the story. I’m sure that I am one of a crowd of people when I say that my strongest feeling about Ferguson is hopelessness. This world is exploding, and I don’t have any real hope that America will be able to address this in a way that is reasoned. I hope for hope.
The last thing is something I’m probably not supposed to talk much about. But it hit very close to home. An alumna of the college I work for was murdered by her son this week. I am new here and hadn’t met her, but she was an avid volunteer and often came to reunions. To say it was a blow was an understatement.
I know that the knowledge of death is supposed to allow us to relish life. I can spout Ursula K. LeGuin quotes about candles and darkness all you want. What all of that doesn’t explain is the tragedy of many of those deaths.
I am realizing as I write this that I have no points to make about the above statements. I’m feeling sad, disturbed, and a bit frightened, and I didn’t want the moment to pass without comment. I hope we can find a way to move forward from this week that is constructive.