Monday, January 08, 2007

Mad World

Helen Hill died January 4, 2007.

I did not know Helen Hill, but it still makes me terribly, terribly sad. But the sadness is overcome by outrage to learn that she was murdered in her home. And it hits that much harder because she was a friend of the SOOTTAD's. As was her husband. As is her husband.

When the SOOTTAD told me about it, she described them as "two of the most purely nice, kind, loving, creative people I have ever met." And all I could think was, what is wrong with the world? What kind of world do we live in where such a thing could happen? Where such a thing could happen to people like this?

The headline in the New York Times -- "Just Days Into the Year, Killings Toll Hits 8 in New Orleans" -- seems absurdly distant. Same for the Shreveport Times. Another body count in a world full of violence. You could quickly scan it and wander off, troubled but largely untouched. I know these things happen, but knowing them, even once removed, cuts to the quick. The connection brings it into sharp relief, and yet it isn't necessary to have that connection to feel its impact. It was fundamentally a terrible thing to happen. A terrible thing to happen to anybody. It sparks anger, outrage and then more sadness.

And yet the despair currently surpasses the outrage right now.

I think about the insulated worlds in which I move. In school, I'm in contact with many people who want to be healers, people who want to make a living making the world a better place. Lots of warm fuzzies flying all around. A hopeful place. It makes me want to bring understanding into my perspective. People can be swept up by the tide of circumstance; desperation can cause people to do terrible things. But this seems to go beyond my understanding. I can't put myself in a context where one could do such a thing and still be within my perspective, my values, my world.

And I am left finding that I can only ask, how can you heal from a thing like this? All I can think to do is try and cherish all the good that we still have and do our best to protect and fortify it against all the bad that is swirling around us, but there seems to be something fundamentally wrong with that too...

The world's gone bad, and I wonder if it's gone past the point of no return.

1 comment:

Leah said...

god, that's terrible, so, so, very sad. i know what you mean, how do you function in a world this way? i read something about this recently...something to the effect of no amount of your being unhappy will help anyone. there was more to it, but i remember this when the world's horrors make me heavy with sadness. of course, if i was helen's husband, i don't know how i'd feel. how devastating.