Sunday, June 19, 2016

Weekly West Coast 2016 - June 13 to June 19

On December 7, 1989, I was driving to one of my last classes of the year. I was stressed and anxious about upcoming exams, and I was looking forward to the holidays starting immediately following those exams. 

I had just pulled onto the expressway when the news came on the radio. The only headline that day? Fourteen women attending a university in Montreal had be shot and killed the day before. Fourteen women so close to my age, possibly feeling many of the things I was feeling, women who, like me, were working toward their goals. Women with hopes and dreams. These women were no more.  That headline shook me to depths I didn't know I had.  I cried all the way to class.

On March 13, 1996, those depths were rattled again when I heard that a gunman had shot and killed 16 children and one teacher at Dunblane Primary School in Scotland. Having recently left teaching, I could all too easily imagine the horror for all involved.  I felt sick for days.

On April 20, 1999, 12 students and one teacher were shot and killed at Columbine High School in Colorado.  There was that feeling again.  That shocked, hollow, disbelieving ache that was becoming all too familiar. 

They say familiarity breeds contempt, though in my case it bred apathy.  The stories of shootings just kept coming.  
With each story I was less shaken. Eventually I got to the point where I felt nothing other than a vague sense of here-we-go-again. I honestly thought that I couldn't be rattled any more. I thought that the place inside me that could be shaken had been worn away years ago.

I was wrong. 

The recent shootings in Orlando have reminded me that I can still be shaken. Maybe because this one hits home in ways that I won't go into here.  Some stories are not mine to share.

As a result, I've been very caught up in my thoughts this week, and I have been pretty much blind to the beauty around me. This flag, flying in front of the Town Hall near my workplace, was one of the few things that was able to capture my attention.  

I hope to be back with more photos next week.  Sending you warm thoughts wherever you are!

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