So, I can't sleep...I need some peace in my head.
Somehow, someway, sometime this will all make sense, won't it? I'm not sure where to look to find out. I was actually hoping something - scripture, burning bushes, angels...anything, would offer understanding. I've prayed, but to be honest, my prayers seem more like drifting thoughts. I know these things take time. I'm willing to wait for peace in my head, but I'd like to sleep.
Oddly enough, its not an intense feeling of sadness, like so many are feeling. It's more like a white noise in the background. But its always in the background, always drowning out the peace. I wonder if I should be sadder?
I know this pales when compared to what the families of the shooting are going through. A friend of mine told me Amy Bishop pointed the gun at her friend Dr. Debra Moriarity, pulled the trigger twice. Nothing happened. Did God intervene or did the devil just walk away?
I photographed Dr. Gopi Podila a few times. I know he was a really nice guy. We talked about tree genetics, of all things. He was obviously a nice man and his students told me how much they liked him. But, honestly, its the same story for all of them - nice, dedicated people - senselessly killed. I don't know how their families and friends can ever reconcile all of this. I hope they have faith.
I've had so many people get in touch with me and ask me questions and offer opinions. I sort of don't care Why. It sounds harsh, but its true. Everyone is looking for some sort of meaning or purpose to this. I think the hardest thing for them is to accept that it was nothing more that a convergence of bad things. Is it that, or is it really evil? I don't know that madness is evil, and it is simply madness. How do you even get your head around this? Should we just accept it and move on? Should we draw a line in the sand and say, "No more madness!" I don't think that would really work out that well.
I'm sure hundreds, if not thousands of people are trying to sort this out. Good luck with that, is all I can say. After my last month - a tornado, plane crash, a child shot by another child, and six people shot by a crazy woman - I have just moved to acceptance of madness. That's not totally true, but its not totally false either.
I watched my coworkers cry, family cry, and students cry. I saw a kid die at the ER. I saw professors with holes in their heads, literally. I sat in a meeting to decide how to write the headline for three dead and three shot where I once took classes. Its my job. I know that. I've become pretty good at putting distance between me and what I'm shooting. I wonder if the distance is a good or a bad thing. Its good in the sense it helps be survive, but I wonder if the distance I create makes me too jaded. I talked to a former police reporter who called to check on me. I asked her if she missed working the story. She said no. She didn't miss it at all. She didn't miss asking people how their loved ones died.
I must admit, there is nothing like the adrenaline rush of a breaking news story like that. When you're running up to the scene with SWAT and their automatic weapons drawn....it gets your blood flowing. Its the most alive you will ever feel. I would do it again tomorrow. But, after the rush is gone, the reality sets in. It's then I realize how fragile we are. I love what I do, but I can't help but feel like a vulture. ( I just saw my photos of bleeding victims on CNN.)
I'm sorry if I'm rambling. It's late and these thoughts just pass through my head and I try to catch them. I know what I'm experiencing is nothing compared to the pain and hurt so many others feel. I'll pray for Dr. Gopi Podila, Dr. Maria Ragland Davis, Dr. Adriel Johnson, Dr. Joseph Leahy, Stephanie Monticciolo, Dr. Luis Rogelio Cruz-Vera. I'll pray for Amy Bishop, too. Todd Brown, too. Pray, that's all I can do.
Even though it seems selfish, I'll pray for peace in my head. If you could, after you pray for all of the victims - say a prayer for me. Nothing big - just a little peace in my head.