Sunday, December 16, 2012


I really have no idea how to write or what to say. I am quite close to one of my "fugue" states wherein I am not entirely captain of the ship that is me. Yes, I am sure that the extremely grey day adds to the desire to climb the hell into bed and pull up the covers, but that's not the only reason. Then again, given my inability to sleep much, not even rest and escape would be achieved and there are lots of other things that need attention.

Newtown is about twenty miles from Brewster. Louise and I passed within a mile or two of the atrocity ( from the root meaning  extremely barbaric, horrifying, brutual, cruel) on our way to upstate Connecticut. On the highway, around 1:30 or so, we noticed a flotilla of police cars heading south at great speed and wondered what might be up. Kind of like the screaming stream of siren-blaring police cars headed down Seventh Avenue on 9/11. My mom called as she thought it interestingly coincidental (or something) that I was in Connecticut the very day this occurred. Little did she know that I was closer in Brewster.

Louise and I were rather lucky. We were so focussed on getting on the road, driving up to Ledyard, and working on the Monsterwood script that we did not receive the ... are there even words to describe the events of Friday morning? ... I am at a loss to either access or formulate them, though there is plenty of touting going on in the media. We didn't hear the terrible ...  ("Extremely and shockingly or distressingly bad or serious" yeah, that's a start) story ... I hesitate to call it news ... until we landed at the Rosen's. JR is a teacher in Connecticut, so he had been apprised for the whole day. And pretty much nothing has been in focus for me since.

When I write about this, think about all of this, I just want to pass out.

Buttonshop Road in Newtown.
I didn't sleep well on Friday night, notwithstanding the warm welcome and my cozy accommodations. I dozed, but repeatedly woke thinking of the pain and mayhem to the south. The incomprehensible. I am more comfortable with that state, incomprehension, not expecting that it could make sense, that any sort of "rational" or even narrative explanation could take any edge off of the shock, pain, and sorrow. In incomprehension, I am not striving, just doing, being, staying in this sad awareness.

Lots of hot dogs in Newton. Not kidding.

JJA works at the Bridgeport, CT newspaper. He's been cranking out the hours, working 14-16 hours days, with no time off. One of his colleagues lost a child in the shooting (one of the adults, I do believe). He's still there, Sunday night.

On Saturday, I dropped off Louise in New Haven so that she could get home more directly. Connecticut is not known for its highways, and there are not a lot of direct routes, particularly east-west routes, so we rely on circuitous small roads to get from one place to another. I did not know the territory and found, too late, that Google maps routed me straight through Newtown.  I was unsure about whether to tread in that direction, but I couldn't figure out how else to get home, so I risked it.

Later that same day.

I've been pretty spacey all day, and not very productive. I did write some cards, do my editing job, and prepared the dinner of cheese ravioli in rosemary/garlic brown butter and some roasted veggies (broccoli and carrots), as well as prepping some brussels sprouts for roasting tomorrow. Gotta keep those vegetables moving. MMA is busily trying to get ready for the holidays and as I am in not much of a mood for tree decoration or cooking baking, at least I can help out with the kitchen and the laundry.

Cooder has been particularly affectionate today, and I appreciate that. She was very cuddly during the night, although she did wake me up. Even though I went to bed relatively early, I woke up for a few hours during the night. I watched Sports Night on Netflix, as I thought reading might wake me too much. I slept late this morning.

I also found out this evening that Jeff Davis passed away last night. That might have added to the general disturbances in my emotional field. I haven't heard from his sister, my close friend, Kit, for few weeks and I suppose I was hoping that he was improving. Or maybe I didn't want to think about it, as it felt too reminiscent of Carl's passing. More tears.

So three deaths in my immediate circle this week: Miranda, Terry (Echo's mom), and Jeff. And then those others.

I think some Ambien is in order tonight, if I can find it. And I will once again quote my touchstone poem by William Stafford:

A Ritual to Read to Each Other

If you don't know the kind of person I am
and I don't know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail,
but if one wanders the circus won't find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider—
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give—yes or no, or maybe—
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

1 comment:

  1. I love Stafford's poems. And I'd worried about you, wondering if you would be near Newtown when you went to Connecticutt. So sad for us all.