Though I'm reckless and fickle, I can be a planner. I like laying out my clothes the night before, getting my concert tickets ahead of time, choosing the reason of my post instead of just 'free flow' writing it.
But sometimes planning feels instinctively wrong to me. Like wearing rubber boots with your prom dress. Or smearing ketchup on chocolate cake. Or trying to read a novel underwater. Or thinking out a planned response of sympathy to a tragic event.
I suppose the reason I can't plan what to say about Virginia Tech, is because if I tried, I would feel... silly. It's not my school, it's not my town, it's not even my country. Adding sympathy or trying to comment on something so tragic leads to me grabbing fistfuls of cliches, "I don't understand", "Everything happens for a reason", "I just don't know what to say".
I would like to say something memorable, something relatable, something that would provide my brain a moment of rest while it races through dictionaries of words and lists of quotes, but I'm just left with cliches. And then I realize, cliches are cliches for a reason. Because they give everyone who doesn't know what to say something to reach for, and in times like this, that's what people need.
I work in a college. Everyday I see kids walking through halls, ipods jammed in ears, laughing with their friends. With the approach of spring, the laughter has grown and the mood has seemed lighter- even finals haven't dampened the mood. Until now.
Today the halls are quieter. There is not less to laugh about for them- their lives still hold the same people and promise they did yesterday or the day before, but I think, I think they have been reminded of what the look of loss is, how it's painted in shades of grief and agony. And that it can be found anywhere. At anytime.
Even, in a school like their own.
So without knowing what to say, I will say this. The loss of lives at Virgina Tech has saddened not just the nation (as put by George W Bush in his speech to the students) but anyone who has ever felt like their world was secure. Who has ever felt a bounce in their step, or a reason to laugh.
It has saddened me.
And that's all I can say, on a day where I don't know what to say.