A week ago, the world was different for all of us. This morning, I wake up deeply saddened again. I run my hand along my 7 year old’s soft cheek, and the same choking burn comes into my throat.
I’m grieving with you, Newtown.
But all week, I’ve had friends on Facebook and around town tell me how they’re not watching the news because they want to forget the pain and move on with their Christmas shopping. They don’t want to feel sad, and so they turn away from the tragedy. I understand this.
Every time I teach W.H. Auden’s poem, Musée des Beaux Arts, I recall that, like in the poem, we turn away from tragedy because we “had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.”
In this poem, “everything turns away / Quite leisurely from the disaster.” But I don’t want to turn away quite leisurely. I don’t want to move ahead with Christmas shopping and all the distractions because of God’s simple command to “mourn with those who mourn.”
So I’m still watching images and memorial services. Today, when we all observe that moment of silence as school begins, I just want Newtown to know that I’m mourning with them.