Yesterday I heard that the small cafe near Sandy Hook School had its blackboard sign in front, and it said only: say a prayer. For those of us far away, it is a terrible feeling to imagine so many dead children and stricken families, combined with the paralysis of what to do. All the ancient universal questions of where does evil come from rise again. We need a handle to make sense of our experience. How does one go forward? There are stories of heroes emerging- the first grade teacher who hid all her children in the closet and the cabinets. When the shooter arrived she told him they were all in the gym. He shot and killed her, and left for the gym. All of her children were saved.
I am remembering Rilke's poem about grief:
It’s possible I am pushing through solid rock
in flintlike layers, as the ore lies, alone;
I am such a long way in I see no way through,
and no space: everything is close to my face,
and everything close to my face is stone.
I don’t have much knowledge yet in grief
so this massive darkness makes me small.
You be the master: make yourself fierce, break in:
then your great transforming will happen to me,
and my great grief cry will happen to you.