Newtown shooting: when the ocean between us is full of tears

I was listening to Joy to the World as I read the news of the shooting in Connecticut.

I checked my annoyance that Newtown was misspelt in the hashtag #prayfornewton.

I wrapped up pass-the-parcels, as many layers across the three packages as lives lost in a small town today.

I prepared games for a party, knowing that for a score or more there would be no more parties.

I followed twitter, with voyeuristic attention. I listened to the words President Obama summoned to describe the sickening feeling a nation, a world, felt as lives were ended and more traumatised.

I saw him wipe away a tear or two.

I felt the anger of those calling for gun control laws.

And the heartbreak of those wanting to postpone the politics until another day.

The aromas of the Christmas cake baking in the oven wafted through my flat, as I wondered whether there could be joy in this world. As people quoted the West Wing as the source of solace far removed from reality. A world where Presidents can quote scripture and it leaves tingles on your forearms and not tears in your eyes.

When ‘joy cometh in the morning’ is a scriptwriters gift and not a statement confounded by reality.

I have no children to hold a little closer tonight. But the fragility of life is closer than before.

Somehow, I try and and remember that joy to the world is not just a neat lyric in a carol we sing at this time of year.


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