I had strange dreams last night. I know I was traveling to Pakistan, and I can’t recall anything else. This morning, when I opened my laptop, I was slammed by the news from Peshawar. My heart fell like a rock and I could not bear to think anymore.
As I went through my day, sluggish, irritable, always perilously close to tears, I thought, why is everything continuing to chug along as usual? Doesn’t anyone know that one hundred and thirty two children were killed in cold blood today, face to face, shot to death as they stood in their school uniforms, far away from their parents’ embrace? Images are clogged in my mind, the toadstools on this little girl’s black tights, the numb crazed look on a mother’s face as she screams near a coffin, stacked coffins in the hospital, a small body covered in rose petals as old men pray the funeral prayer over it, confused little faces of children being led away by soldiers, the anguished eyes of the mother who narrated how her son told her on his cellphone about the ongoing attack as she listened in horror to the sound of teenagers crying –.
This is the world we live in. Friends who are sending Pakistan prayers are a reminder of the continuing horror of slaughter for which we are raising lambs. I hear words of consolation from Palestinian, Iraqi, Malaysian, friends, who have their own wounds. I am ashamed, angry, grieving. We are united in our grief and our inability to be consoled.
But we’re not really consoled. We just move on to the next day and the next set of horrors.