The thing about life is ... it keeps happening, at the same rate, though at times our struggle to absorb and process events - reactions - emotions - implications - will affect the pace and timing. We may say, "Time stood still", or "The day just sped by", or "The clock got away from me", but in reality the rotation of this world in orbit around the sun was as constant as it has been for all the days we can individually account for.
There are births and deaths, tears and laughter, joys and sorrows that mark an internal Book of Days. We in general are incapable of recalling each second of each minute we are awake. We mark certain events in our mind as noteworthy, and they become mental cairns that we use along our journey.
Then something happens that touches people collectively. Usually a tragedy, a death, occasionally a birth or wedding or triumph of human spirit.
August 11, 2014 is looking to be one of those days for many people.
When I was in high school we learned this definition of humor in a Speech class, taught by Howard Crouch:
Humor is the juxtaposition of incongruous circumstances.
Is the reason we react collectively to events like suicides, bombings, car crashes, earthquakes, natural and environmental disasters and mass shootings the result of the juxtaposition of light and dark, life and death, belief and reality? We do not deal with negatives well in this country. We have a sort of ingrained societal insistence of superiority, supremacy, happiness, patriotism and invulnerability that defies any of the "darker" elements that balance all of the "light" we seem to claim as a divine right.
We judge, and judge harshly people, actions, behaviors, beliefs that do not fit into our vision of what is right.
Is it because we are scared? Do we feel weak, vulnerable?
Many questions, and I do not have the answers.
We build people - places - institutions into idols and ideals then cannot deal when they end up being just as human and impermanent as we individually know ourselves to be.
I remember when John F Kennedy was assassinated, when man first walked on the moon, when Richard Nixon resigned, when Elvis Presley died, when John Lennon was murdered, when Princess Diana was killed in a car crash, when Dale Earnhardt crashed at Daytona, 9/11, when Michael Jackson died. Now I will add Robin Williams to this list. (and yes, there is only one positive event on this list - a sad, sad fact)
I do not fear my own death, I dread the deaths of others. Because I know that in the end, none of us gets out of here alive.