Darkness in December

There can be few people who haven’t heard the dreadful reports of the school shootings in Connecticut. This awful news hits the world as many Chinese are also rocked by a similar attack in a school there, by somebody wielding a knife. These events are unimaginable for most of us. How such things can happen is beyond comprehension. What drives a person to such an act of wanton slaughter? I dare say that we’ll learn more as time passes, but the fact remains that these terrible events have taken place and too many lives have been taken, so much potential wiped out. It is only natural that our hearts grieve.

For many years, the approach of Christmas has been received with mixed feelings by myself, for one. December sees far too many tragedies, and too many linked to criminal behaviour. From the family whose home is burglarised, depriving them of the gifts they may have barely managed to afford, to acts so heinous we can’t truly comprehend them. Homes are consumed in fires, traffic accidents steal lives or leave behind crippled bodies, people lonely beyond endurance commit the ultimate act of violence against themselves and commit suicide. These tragedies occur through accidents or acts of criminality, and sometimes in a combination of both, such as drunk drivers who bring their own form of criminal violence against random strangers. Of course such things happen at other times of the year, but they always seem to build to a crescendo in the run up to Christmas.

What does it say about us? The same tragedies every December. The ruination of a time of hope and love in the blink of an eye. We implore each other to behave better, to be more careful, to be more caring of others. And every year, without fail, the pattern is repeated. The sense of personal invulnerability we all enjoy is utterly false. Personally, the thought of losing just one member of my family or a friend is unbearable. Others must feel the same. How many of you have been driven to hug your children as news of another tragedy has struck?

It troubles me. The night before last, I fell asleep on the sofa. I had the most vivid, memorable dream I can remember in ages. In that dream, it was a day of happiness, in which I was with a very young grandson, exploring a heathland. That grandson was named Tom, though I have no such grandchild. The happiness, however, turned to nightmare when I couldn’t find Tom. In the dream, I covered miles, from heath to shopping centre, trudging despairingly along major roads, always hunting. Not once did it occur to me to call the police or anybody else. The nightmare was wholly mine! And when I woke, the nightmare unfinished, I was still grieving for a lost child, a child who had never been real. Later, the dreadful events that unfolded in the real world seemed to somehow hit me more strongly because of that nightmare. I could probably figure out the causes of the dream, but it strikes me as a very strange coincidence with real events.

So many children, of all ages, were lost. I will grieve for them, in my own way. I won’t, however, expect the losses to bring changes. Next December will have its darkness, as always.

~ Steve

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About Steve

An author since the age of 13 years, writing again dominates my activities. My "Imagineer-ing" blog is my primary site. Also: Beginner knitter since November 2010. Favourite knitting techniques: cable and lace. Beginner cross stitcher. Beginner jewellery maker. With the promotion of self publication and all the other work that has been going on here, Dad decided around 2am this morning (22/11/2013) that it was time to begin his next adventure. He was seen off earlier the previous evening by myself, my brother, my sister in law, and my sister, as well as his wife (our mum), and an enigmatic being known only as A Lorraine. After this time of story telling, laughing, crying, joking and mickey taking, we saw how tired both mum and dad were, and we decided to leave them under the (sometimes) gentle care of The Lorraine. When Dad found the timetable for his travels, he let Mum know gently, which woke her from her drowsing, then, with the same gentleness he showed in this universe, he boarded his favourite mode of transport, the Interdimensional Steam Train, and set off with a smile and a wave. For those of us closest, that smile was a reminder that his pain has ended, and the wave, an indicator that he will pop in to all those that knew him, from time to time. Usually at the most inconvenient and in opportune moments he can. While we are sad that he is no longer here, we are happy he now has no pain, and is experiencing more extraordinary things that his writers mind will be frantically weaving into a new story. Posted by Son Damien

4 thoughts on “Darkness in December

  1. This has been a hard year for many, many people. It seems that evil is making its way into the hearts and mind of so many and they chosing the wrong way to ask for help. Killing is never the way to express the hurt or anger they are feeling. The goverment takes more and more. The lack of jobs, the lack of a stable home life can this the cause of such evil? Is it because they see no way out and no hope? I don’t know. But there is hope, for out of the act of a mad man comes union of hearts of minds to pray. Let’s focus on the victims and their family. There will always be dark as there is light. Hopefully your dreams tonight will be of happiness. Crowds laughing, singing and dance, sending prayers and healing to all.

    • Thanks Mary.Somehow, I never seem to remember the happy dreams… It was most unusual for me to sleep so long and so deeply, being robbed of rest by insomnia for many years, and pain for the last twelve years. That was what made the “coincidence” even more remarkable, in my mind.

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