Tuesday, April 17, 2007
This morning I was struck by opposing images, the screaming headline on the front page of the Wisconsin State Journal, "A lone gunman. 32 victims dead. One question: WHY?" and the splash of light that fell on my keyboard. Horror and quiet beauty.
The killings at Virginia Tech, like those at a high school here in Wisconsin and around the country sadden and frighten me. I remember practicing lockdown drills with my students, all of us kneeling in a corner of the classroom, lights off, door locked, away from the darkened window, listening to police or school adminstrators rattling the doorknob to check if it was secure. Praying that what happened in Columbine or Paducah would never happen here. Now, out of the school setting, I think of those young people lost, and the grief of their friends and families.
I don't know how we protect ourselves from the sorrow and anxiety that come from being secondhand witnesses to terror, except by searching for goodness and beauty in our own lives, and by loving our friends and family. I'm not suggesting that we ignore the harsh reality of today's world, only that we find a balance between that which causes pain and that which brings happiness. For what it's worth, here is a sight that brought a little happiness to me this morning.