With a low rumble of thunder I'm reminded that, yes, its still raining. And while I tend to love a good downpour, its now been days of rain and I was hoping to play outside all weekend with my cousins and even dive into this new game.
I like the idea of a cheery umbrella (see below), but let's not kid ourselves... this is how we all really feel, am I right?
Running has been kicking my butt lately and hot yoga has been making me woozy so I wasn't surprised yesterday when my doctor delivered his official opinion: cool it. (not in those exact words, he was more doctory). This isn't devastating because (1) there are bigger things in life to mourn (2) I haven't been getting out there much, and (3) running has been so very painful and hard. However, I'm still pouting. You don't know how much you want something until someone says 'no' (just ask a toddler, they get it). So good bye running shoes. Hello um, well, I don't know... sensible flats? this is lame.
And waking up to news of a mass shooting in Colorado was, for lack of ways to phrase it, a terror. Putting myself in the place of anyone in that theater is virtually impossible. I don't know anything that big, that scary. Maybe thats part of why our nation is so in shock - because the bottom dropped out of what we know of as 'safe'. We can calculate risk of flying in a plane or having surgery but seeing a movie? That should carry zero risk. It opens us up to fragility of life everywhere. So when we can't even begin to imagine what the victims and their families must feel, we can say with shock, 'I see movies, that could have been me."
I just finished a book called "We Need To Talk About Kevin" by Lionel Shriver. Its about a teenage boy that goes on a killing spree in a school. Its all written from the mother's perspective and over the hundreds of pages you feel drawn so close, right into her nightmare. It is a disturbing and chilling novel and it is really well done. I can say it was good in the same way I can say I liked Schindler's List (both of them were terrible, does that make sense?). It effected me deeply, getting into the psychology of this family. So hearing about the shooting in Aurora, CO - the first thing I thought of was the mother of the shooter. I attribute this thought to how well the book was written. Now I can't get her out of my head. This article says she had an instinct, before knowing any details of movie theater killing, she instantly said 'you have the right person.' That gives me chills.
But I won't delve too deeply down that rabbit hole. For the people of Denver, this must seem larger than life. That's the nature of tragedy, it swallows everything else around it. But clouds eventually lift (not that the platitude is of any comfort on a stormy day like today). Sooner or later life's events that were shrunken and made insignificant by pain will demand to be noticed again. The bills and the baby showers and phone calls will resume normal size, thus compressing all mourning until it only fits in corners and closets. When people say 'in time this will feel better' I don't think they mean "you're pain will go away". I've found the meaning to be - "Time is a force... and inevitably this pain that's in the foreground will have to shift around. Time will move things back to almost right size"
This weekend is two years since my cousin passed away. The pastor hinted at the idea of what I said above in his sermon at the funeral. I've thought about it (and expanded on it) a lot since. I've thought about my cousin a lot since too - although the pain isn't as big as it was then. I don't remember much from the service, but I remember his step-sister singing a breathtakingly beautiful version of 'hallelujah'
I will say to you I hope the clouds lift, but I know for a fact that they do. I am a firm believer that there can be good along with the bad. This weekend a large group of my cousins are gathering and its something I've looked forward to what feels like ages. Despite the rain, it will be wonderful.