I was thinking during the night about Bob's tendency to draw attention away from particular attrocities to the bigger picture of huan attrocity in general. I think this has bothered me because it feels like an attempt to shut down my emotional response to the close and present pain. He says that is not what he intends and I have to believe him, so it occured to me think maybe he is using the smaller events as a lens to see the larger and more distant events more clearly emotionally - to feel the pain of every terrified family in Darfur when I look at the terrified faces in Virginia, as a bridge to universiality. When I think about it that way it makes sense.
I' still distressed that too many people, press and people on blogs and in general, are looking for someone to blame. This can't be about blame. That's just an oversimplification , anxiety avoidance. If we can blame the police or the university then if everybody does everything right in the future we're safe. That's a dangerous illusion. There is no safety, just the human capacity to love, comfort, and help each other heal as derived from our individual understandings of God and the universe.
I watched the convocation at Virginia Tech on the internet too late last night. It was beautifully staged. I held back my cynicism about President Bush - that he was grabbing at a moment in which he could present a sympathetic face - and believe he did the best speaking job he's done, offering real comfort to those students even if he did have mixed motives in being there. I was moved by the voices from different religions, the truly eccuminical flavor of the event The Iman, I think, spoke with particular presence and compassion. And Giovanni , the poet professor who spoke at the end absolutely grabbed my heart. I learned this morning that she had the shooter in her classes, was disturbed by the darkness of his writing, tried to help hi find a different voice, and eventually had him removed from her classes. She spoke with such passion - so alive. She embodied the cosmic AND for me human capacity for vulnerability AND resillience, violence AND healing, despair AND hope I think art calls to my emotions and spirit more strongly than religion - more easily- and she sure did.