Late last evening, after a full and busy day that ran well into the evening, I was unaware of the shooting in Boulder, Colorado, USA, until a near-bedtime visit to Facebook told me a friend there had checked in as safe during a major public crisis.
No doubt that message, and all it meant, was a large part of what led to a restless night, which continued with deeply held concern this morning as more details of the killings became known, and it became more “real” to the world and me.
This morning I saw another one of my people “checked in” as safe. And later in the morning, seeing the list of names of the dead told me I knew none of those whose lives were taken in those moments. But I don’t yet know how many of my Colorado friends are affected; and, really, not knowing the people doesn’t make it any less tragic. It’s just incredibly and profoundly sad. So, to answer my own question, they are all affected. We are all affected. The mass shooting in Boulder is, I believe, a symptom of the hate and confusion that is so insidious in our world, and of the things that need brave, intentional action if we are to change the sad patterns of the past and present.
The event also reopens memories of the deep, life-altering experience of having close friends live the agony of their dear daughter being murdered in a similar, senseless act of mass violence, years ago.
In Peter Gabriel’s song “I Grieve,” there are several helpful lines for a time like this; they help articulate the feelings and point out that life does go on… very differently, of course, for those involved, affected, witnessing, experiencing…
“It was only one hour ago
It was all so different then
There’s nothing yet has really sunk in
Looks like it always did…”
* * *
“Life carries on
in the people I meet
In everyone that’s out on the street
In all the dogs and cats
In the flies and rats
In the rot and the rust
In the ashes and the dust
Life carries on and on and on and on
Life carries on and on and on…”
(excerpts from “I Grieve,” by Peter Gabriel)
Last night and through today and this evening, I was grateful… grateful to have another day to connect with several of my Boulder-and-vicinity folk, to share our feelings about the tragedy, and to talk about what life moving on looks like.
“I Grieve” comes from Gabriel’s 13th album, Up, released in 2002. (I previously posted the song, “Growing Up” from the same album.)
Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here.
Here’s the audio of the song from Peter Gabriel’s official YouTube channel:
Full, unofficial lyrics are available courtesy of AZLyrics.com.