To the Grieving Families
“For there is a boundary to looking.
And the world that is looked at so deeply wants to flourish in love.
Work of the eyes is done,
now go and do heart-work on all the images imprisoned within you. Rilke, ‘Turning Point'”- a comment off of The Stranger
Last Wednesday, people messaged me to ask if I was okay. Okay? What was wrong? That morning, I heard the many ambulances rushing by my apartment, the sirens blaring as they usually do. I live in a busy area near hospitals. This is nothing abnormal. Just now, as I’m typing this, some woman practically “Yip-eed!” in the street (not exactly but I’m not sure what else to call it). My cat perked her ears, clearly annoyed. There is a lot of noise, a lot of “life” (loud life) in this area. I didn’t think anything was wrong. Until I received a few messages from friends around the world, “Are you okay? I just heard about the shooting?”
I found out that evening.
It hadn’t even crossed my mind to write about this on this blog.
Because it is not important news-it is horrifically, sad, disturbing news.
My guy’s friends called and messaged to ask if we were okay. They asked, “Why don’t you move back to Bellevue? It’s safer there.”
Because any city is dangerous (collect a bunch of people together, someone will snap).
And more importantly, we love this city.
The shooting was… shocking. I’ve been reading that the gun violence rates and homicide by gun violence has risen for Seattle. We’re already up to 21 this year. Last year, that number was the total. Is it awful I thought, “only 21? That’s good.” Until this shooting. I don’t know what it was but it hit home. I don’t know any of those people. The last shooting, in First Hill, did happen very close to my apartment, merely blocks away but I don’t think my shock over this has anything to do with it. Is it the amount of people dead? Maybe. Is it that someonejust snapped that is troubling?
I think, it’s just sad.. purely sad and disturbing when people are killed-especially for “no good reason.”
I went to the convenience store to grab some milk that night. People were laughing and partying (which is good; life must go on).. but it felt.. quieter. I wanted to ask the cashier, “Did you hear?” Of course they heard. Who hadn’t? And why depress them further. Probably, they had already thought about it a lot.
Seattle is a lot of things. It has pockets. It has it’s own segregation, it’s own snobbery and closed-off-I-refuse-to-accept-more-friends attitude.. but it’s also, oddly enough, one of the most compassionate cities in America. It isn’t just me who thinks that; so does the Dali Lama. But I live here and I’ve traveled to just about every major city in the U.S. I know. I’ve lived in a lot of places. There is nothing like Seattle. Nothing quite so beautiful, quite so giving, quite so quirky and accepting of others no one else seems to be able to accept. I don’t know what it is. People are just good to each other here, or at least more thoughtful.
So yes, this tragic event is…
There are just no words.
A little bit of safety does feel gone from “my place.”
There are plenty of news outlets covering it. I just wanted to say to the family: We are grieving with you. As best we can grieve with people we do not know, we are there. Please, let me know, let us know, let anyone know, whatever it is you need. And I am so, so.. so.. so sorry this happened. It should never happen to anyone but it does. And we are grieving with you.
If you don’t know what event I am talking about, click here.