shootings. holocaust.

today is holocaust remembrance day.

the biggest shooting in US history just happened. 33 people are dead.

my brain is trying to cope with this, to make sense of it, so i take flight into my safe cocoon, the internet. i post about it on twitter and on stumbleupon. that is safe. it’s just in some abstract place – cyberspace.

but my heart says otherwise. i hear my daughter listen to a CNN cast about the shooting. these are real voices talking. it happened in the real world.

and thus it happens in my heart, too. tears are coming. shooting, the holocaust, the holocaust, shooting.

growing up in post-WWII germany, the holocaust was one of the biggest stories in my life. my best friend’s parents had survived it, my family was touched by it in various ways. perhaps the first non-fiction book i read, at the age of 10 or so, was a story about the holocaust.

i am remembering this as i hear the cell phone recordings of the shootings. “it sounds like he’s picking them out!” says my daughter.

what world does a person live in who kills like this – like this shooter, like those who captured, tortured and killed people in the holocaust? mass murderers and serial killers are not born – they evolve. one person speaks of “horrible personal demons of rage, hatred, repression and violent fantasies“. again, these demons don’t just appear on the scene one day. demons need to be nurtured to do damage, just like in the story of the two hungry wolves. who/what nurtured them? who was not around to chase them out?

my son is here right now, my mother, and my very, very pregnant daughter. we are together. what about those other families? what about the daughter, the cousin, the friend, the brother that will never make it home again after today? what about entire families and generations that were destroyed in the holocaust and in all the other atrocities that followed and are still following?

and what am i doing right now to nurture the right wolf?

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