It took a minute or two for the full implication of what he had told me to sink in. I immediately grabbed my laptop – I wanted to know the story, right that minute! It took only two clicks to find it. The more I read, the more stricken I felt.
“Students were told to close their eyes by police as they were led from the building.” I read. The story went on to say that children were led out in a line, with each child placing a hand on the shoulder of the one ahead.
I had to stop and catch my breath. How can we possibly fathom or make sense of such unimaginable horror? That someone could be so deranged, so tormented, that he could gun down children at their desks?
I want to know the story. All of it. Why did this person do this? How did he come to this state? What were the children thinking as this occurred, and how will their families handle the situation to keep it from scarring these kids for life? How will the community cope and heal?
Some of the back story, especially about the perpetrator, will fill the pages of papers and the web for some time to come. Much of the story I want to know is written on the pages of the future just now, but I hunger to know.
What more powerful example that Story is the operating system of the human brain? Story is the way we make sense of life and all that transpires. I’m writing my thoughts and reaction to this event in my journal, and writing this post about it as part of my attempt to come to grips with it. Will this click it into perspective right away? Probably not, but I feel better for trying, and my awareness of the ubiquity of Story is sharpened to a finer edge.
Right now this story stands on its own, but as time passes and I think about it more, I fully expect that it will link with other stories I remember, stories about school, about guns and violence, grief, tragedy and loss. Seeking more about this story helps me feel connection with that community and the people involved. Hopefully the story will ignite compassion in hearts all around the world, not just for the victims’ families, and those traumatized by today’s event’s, but also for the tormented soul who was driven to this abominable act. Story explains. Story sows seeds of healing.
Write now: pull out paper and pen – or use a keyboard – and do some freewriting about this incident and your thoughts about it. How does it affect you? How do you feel about it? What does it mean to you? How does it change your point of view about anything? Does it remind you of anything? If it does, write a story about that.
Image: “Maternal Grief”, sculpture by Carl Johan Eldh. Exhibit in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Dantes Plads 7, Copenhagen, Denmark