Second-hand Tragedy

Sometimes I think I feel too much. A skyscraper crashes or a friend of a friend dies, and I take it personally. I didn’t know anyone in the Towers, and I don’t even know my friend’s friend’s name, but I know that I have lost something.

It’s a bright, cool summer’s day, all the more bitter for its beauty. Like the spring day when I visited Auschwitz. Why is the grass so green? To taunt me, to distract me, to give me hope? Or is it just there?

Life is beautiful, but this life is full of death, and that is something that I will always take personally.

What the hell is wrong with me? Am I the only one who’s sane? Or is this just a small taste of how the heart of God feels all the time?


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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Somedays I feel more raw or sensitive than other days, but there are times when the sheer sadness of life just knocks me off my feet. Take care, brother.

    I think this is part of being human… and hopefully leads us towards being humane in our treatment of others around us.

  2. I got to visit Auschwitz too. The little things, a purple flower here, a tree growing outside the gate at Burkenow, those things made the tradgedy somehow all the more real. It was interesting.

  3. Being more human definitely hurts. I’m glad I feel comfortable dropping the f-bomb on God.

    The beauty of life does make the tragedy that much more vivid. As if we’re reminded of how things were supposed to be, just when we realize how very bad things are.

  4. I actually don’t feel a thing when national catastrophes happen, people say that if I actually read the newspaper or watched TV once in awhile and saw the photos I might feel differently. Someone also told me that we just can’t take everything in all of the time.

    But I also have the capacity to immediately feel immensely sad over something–for example, I was on a subway and saw a young woman about my age with a dog and she was begging for money for food with tears rolling down her face–that was the moment I realized when I feel this kind of deep, deep sadness inside (because I can’t fix other people’s problems), that I have to immediately pass the burden on to God or I feel like I’m letting a heavy weight enter my soul that my soul isn’t capable of bearing.

    I wish I could make things better but it’s better for me to not carry what I can’t carry. And I’m denying God if I think that I can carry this sadness.

    In other situations–I also read that it’s good to allow ourselves to feel sadness, it’s our way of greiving loss, because if we don’t, something bad will happen–it will come out in other ways.

  5. The sadness of the world is such that it sneaks into our humdrum lives when we least expect it. If we do not find an expression for that tragic encounter, you’re right, the results would be even more tragic.

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