I don't know how to start this or even what to say.
I just know that there is something I have to say, because of current events, and because of other things, things I'd care to not say out into the open, things that break my heart, but none the less things that I have to write down, because as long as I've been here on this earth the best weapon I've ever had in dealing with the sometimes incomprehensible heartache of life has been writing.
This morning I walked into work, in the early morning grey glow of morning, stumbling through my day-to-day tasks when I passed through the break room, hanging up my coat, and putting on my work shirt. When I heard over the low volume of the TV, in that quiet room, with just one other person; presumably a third shift-er on his final break before he drove home, the two of us listening, his hood pulled over his head as the details were played out before us, us both quietly listening. I have no idea if his reaction was anything like mine, or even if he cared, and instead chalked it up to another bit of the craziness of adult awareness, and the absurdly violent and heartbreakingly sad world in which we live in. But as the words came out of the reporter's mouth I could taste in my mouth the hard disgust of loneliness. A loneliness in a world in which we decide upon each other horrible acts of violence without thought, without care, for various reasons; for fame, for anger, for fear; the pure root it seems of all the dark pits in our bodies.
If you don't know what I'm referring to, well, then I will only suggest you look it up, if you want to. But in this article and what is left of it I will not state where it happened, or when, or why, or who was involved. Only that another person was senselessly gunned down in a movie theater. And no, it doesn't matter at all that it took place in a movie theater, it could of happened in a coffee shop, or a sporting event, at a grocery store. Anywhere, and I'd still find it just as sad. It seems like the older I get, the more often I find myself without words to describe exactly how sick I feel with humanity. I fear for what it will be like when I'm older and the years and years of senseless violence have had their time to seep into me, to wash over me, until all that is left is a bitter version of what used to be a happy, joyful, funny person.
But this isn't about me, and frankly my senseless self pitying is done, right at this moment.
I'm not aiming to write a great article here, in fact I don't care if it even makes sense. I just simply have thoughts that I want to put down, in hopes that by some miracle something positive can be found, because in moments like this I find it hard to find a positive thing to say. And yes, more is in my head than the gunning down of an innocent person, but it is through that vehicle that I am trying to make sense of this. So, I apologize.
But it just seems like we, as in us, as in all of us, sometimes forget just how precious and how wonderful life is. It seems like we distract ourselves with a million objects blasting past our peripheries. I mean, how often on a given morning do we pause on our busy feet to look up at the sunrise, to see the beautiful grey and red, and pink, and orange cast across the sky? We come into this world, screaming in terror, gasping for breath, and we leave in any number of heartbreaking ways, alone, lost, hoping for something else. Some light to hang onto, some hope, some glimmer, something happier, less painful, blasting with joy, exploding with joy, bursting with happiness, and all of the beautiful moments that come flooding back to us like blood in our noses, gushing out in symphonies of every tiny little moment that made that pain, that fear, that gasping for breath at the beginning, and that letting go of it at the end; all worth it.
We forget about that. And if we could just find it in ourselves to remember that, to keep that in the forefront of our consciousness, well then, who knows...maybe we could find it in ourselves to understand the pain of another person. To give a little more kindness and a little less hate. To give a little more mercy and a little less pain. To remember that there are more people on this planet than ourselves, to remember that this planet is flooding in the tears of all of the pain of all of it's inhabitants. Maybe we could try, please, I beg it of you. Just try for a little more kindness, because this life is short, and we're all in pain, and we're all trying to wake up every single day, with a pain in our hearts. Why should we let that pain bring out anything more from us than love and understanding.
A note on this: I wrote this for my own reasons and because of a news story I had heard about in passing, but had heard in full this morning. I included it on "The Projection List" because the news story was about a shooting that took place in a theater; a place that is in many ways to me my "church", wherein I find a great deal of comfort. I purposely did not include any details on the story, because they are not important, senseless acts of violence and pain happen every second of every day, this one is not special or not above any others in terms of importance or weight. My only hope in writing this and publishing it is that it might bring comfort to those who need it, and it might inspire kindness, if only for a few hours. Which may be enough. I wish you all love, and thanks for listening to me for a bit. I hope wherever you are you're safe and happy. - Chad Foltz