19 March 2012

Every Day is a Good Day

A 6-year-old girl was one of at least six people killed and dozens of people wounded as violence erupted across Chicago this weekend.
The separate incidents occurred Friday and Sunday mornings.
The girl's death reportedly has shocked those in her Little Village neighborhood.
According to witnesses, Aliyah Shell was on her front porch with her parents Saturday afternoon in the 3100-block of South Springfield when a pickup truck pulled up and started shooting, hitting the little girl twice -- once in the chest.

The 6-year-old was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead. 
Seems the unusually warm weather has ratcheted up the violence level along with it!

Funny thing is, I know something of this feeling.  On Friday I was speaking with a Dharma brother, and we both commented on just how much "really need to get out of my skin" feeling we were each experiencing over the past week or so with the warm temps and the switch to daylight savings time.   I told him that had I run into so-and-so the day before I'd have been tempted to kick him in the crotch! On Saturday, another Dharma brother confirmed the same kinds of feelings had been welling up in him the past week.  This is not an isolated, idiosyncratic phenomenon by any stretch of the imagination.

We are such curious critters.  Just when the world bursts into beauty, just when birdsong fills the morning, just when green returns as the dominant color of the landscape, we go stark raving nuts!  I haven't spoken with any women about this; maybe it's a y-chromosome trait, a form of testosterone poisoning.  Doesn't matter, really. 

It certainly doesn't matter to Aliyah Shell or to her parents or anyone else in the neighborhood. 

I wish it mattered to the two suspects in her shooting, but even here, there's not much to say.  How many countless little events and words and actions left me being the kind of guy who, when feeling stuff like this, goes for a run or rakes the leaves or cleans up the garden?  How many countless little events and words and actions left the suspects being the kind of guys who, when feeling stuff like this, can point a gun out a car window and shoot and kill children?

Some might say, "There, but for the grace of God, go I." 

I say, "There go I."

I am so much like the suspects that I have to watch myself and do my level best to keep my house in order.  I am so much like Aliyah Shell that I will perhaps never again go through a very early heat wave without wondering about which kid's going to get it now.  All this, even as I very much enjoy the flowers and the birdsong and the green.  

And still – and I know this boggles people's minds – it's not complicated.  On some unspeakable level all is as it can only be.  In some strange way only in utter stillness known, today, no less or more than yesterday or tomorrow, is a good day.

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