I find I can't write about art or ordinary things today, and I hope you will bear with me as I express my thoughts about what happened today.
We woke up this morning to the shocking and sad news about the massacre at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Hundreds of people packed into a theater for the premiere of the new Batman movie...families, kids, people of all ages enjoying the excitement of a Hollywood blockbuster on the first night. Most of us have been part of that kind of event. It's meant to be fun, exhilarating, memorable.
We will hear all about the young man who committed this atrocity in the days and weeks to come. Perhaps he has always been mentally damaged. Or perhaps he became obsessed by the fantasy of becoming a supervillain, or becoming famous through infamy. Maybe he has an agenda that he believes will get attention because of his actions. We may want to call him crazy, sick, or evil. But whatever we learn about him, what he did will never make sense.
There is some painful irony in the way violence is a major part of the Batman movies, being reflected in this real-life enactment of violent mayhem. The fact is, and we all know it, we live in a dangerous world, and we see evidence of that every day on tv and the internet.
But we have to live our lives, so we push the knowledge of our uncertain safety away from our consciousness and we go out into the world around us. We practice trust, by interacting with people we don't know, on a daily basis. We board airplanes, we stand in lines, we gather in malls and schools and offices and churches and movie theaters. We resist paranoia and try to believe we can be safe in the ordinary activities of modern life.
Then someone betrays that trust and hurts innocent people for no reason we can possibly understand. We watch the towers fall, and the images and pain are seared into our hearts and minds. We are never the same again, but we go on.
My heart goes out to the families and friends of the victims of this tragic event and to the wounded and traumatized left in its wake.