October 2, 2017 (Monday)

by Yule Heibel on October 1, 2018

As I sat down this morning to meditate, I swiped right on my phone to pull up the app, and, below the search box, saw the big news item right there, with a much bigger picture and much more screen real estate than what Apple News usually allocates, about the 64-year-old killer who massacred fifty people and injured two hundred more in Las Vegas last night. He had a room on the 23rd floor of a hotel overlooking a country music festival. He had automatic weapons which may or may not already be illegal. He had an Australian girlfriend of Asian ethnicity alongside (allegedly). He was white and American and, at age 64, no longer young. He must have planned this for months. I wonder how much we’ll find out about the motives.

This is not exactly what I wanted to start hearing about first thing, or writing in my morning pages about.

People already are suggesting that, since he was white, this was not an Islamicist terror attack (because some other people of course assumed it might be). But Islam isn’t a race, and it just shows how racist the politically correct are being to reach for this. Subconsciously or not, it’s racism. Ditto for the people secretly (or not so secretly) joyful that an old white guy went on a killing spree – see, white men are evil, etc. But shooting up a country music event? And having an Asian-Australian girlfriend? This is going to be some fucked up story.

I feel like a lot of current events are pulling me into streams, washing me up on banks, stranding or diverting me into areas I didn’t want to go. Or might want to go – as the New York City trip, which took me off into unexpected currents, but which also can end up putting me in such deep and uncharted territory that I lose track of where I was before.

Oh, look! More currents…

I’m usually not easily distracted, but a trip to New York that reboots (unexpectedly) your outlook, or a terrorist massacre on American soil – the Vegas Strip, no less – each of these is a current event in my life, with greater or lesser proximity to my personal life, that can easily pull me away from anything else I may be trying to focus on – to fathom.

Yesterday W. and I took a “Sunday drive” to Lanesville and Halibut Point on Cape Ann. It’s glorious up at the Point. I noticed that there are now so many more people at the park. Back in the 1990s, this was not the case. We drove back via the street where the study group facilitator lives: very nice, but a tad too tickety-boo and suburban, utterly car-dependent.

I think I’ll sign up for the workshop. I’m also glad that I laid to rest my curiosity about the facilitator’s neighborhood. Compared to the seaside house, NYC would be the better, bigger prize. A life year-round up in Gloucester / Rockport / Cape Ann would be stultifying somehow. There has to be contrast. Of course that has to swing both ways: if you are never able to get out of the city, that’s imprisoning, too.

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