Above the Cloud-Line

The sun rose this morning. It rose, and I blinked and then ran for the camera because I hadn’t seen that kind of light in days. Certainly not since Friday.

After the initial gut-pounding shock and the waves of salty-wet grief and the anger carved onto journal pages and the carefully chosen conversations, I find myself in the next stage of my own post-Newtown journey: the doldrums. My soul wants nothing so much as a long nap, an utterly unconscious respite from the knowledge of evil, and my heart is trying to offset this weariness by emotionally disconnecting from it all.

I’ve stayed away from the news and social media these last two days out of fierce necessity, and now the facts of the shooting keep melting down the sides of my mind like timepieces in a Dalí painting. I can’t grasp anything. I can no longer feel the twenty-seven concurrent stabs of horror, the chest-wracking sadness, or the wild urge to do something, anything to change the way our world works. Feeling has been replaced with fog.

I know that the internal process of grief is not a matter of right way versus wrong way, yet I’m convinced I’m making a mess of it. I’m sure either that I feel too intensely, presuming a deeper connection to the victims than I have a right to, or that I feel too little, dishonoring the tragedy through numbness. I’m afraid that my timetable won’t fit into appropriate standards, that I’ll start forgetting about Sandy Hook before a mere slip of a week has passed or that I’ll be hanging onto it long after the rest of the world has laid it to rest. I don’t know when it will be okay to write about other things again, to absorb myself in this life that’s moving onward even as the lives of twenty-seven Connecticut families have shattered to a stop. At the same time, I don’t know if I should already have left them in peace.

In this swirl of unknowing, with sorrow simultaneously fresh and faraway and time playing tricks on my eyes, the sunrise is pure gift. It’s the most visual display of hope I could imagine—a light bigger than this world and beyond our ability to destroy, its effects constant even below the cloud-line, its rise after days of gray a reminder that darkness doesn’t have the final say. Ever.

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  1. It is weighing on me heavily this week as well.

  2. XO I’m sorry this is so painful for you, luv. You feel whatever you feel and that is just right. It’s interesting the things that unearth deep grief in us. Sometimes we become so immune to the traumas in our own lives, that it takes trauma in someone else’s to help us begin processing our own private griefs. That’s what I’ve been working through this week. It’s exhausting, but it is good. Hugs to you.

  3. Melissa – It helps to be feeling together, even if from opposite sides of the globe.

    Krista – I hope that you get a proper vacation this year, hun; sounds like you could use one (if not two or three!). Hugs to you as well.

  4. These words sum up my feelings perfectly.
    And you are absolutely right–darkness will never have the victory!
    Thank you for the words and the reminder.

  5. So well said. Your writing is filled with heart and vivid images and so much life. XO!

  6. Tiffany, Megsie & Willow – Thank you, friends.

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