A Call for Prayers and Best Wishes

My most beloved home town of Portland is reeling tonight.

Late this afternoon an unidentified man entered the Clackamas Town Center Mall with a semi-automatic weapon and opened fire.  As we Portlanders well know, Clackamas Town Center isn’t just a place that would be full of Christmas shoppers on a mid-December afternoon; it’s a common hangout place for young teens.

At this point we know very little, other than the assailant appears to have taken his own life, and that despite reports of up to 60 shots being fired only two other people seem to have been killed.  It’s the kind of result that people in my profession might call “miraculous,” but I have no desire to attach that word to anything related to this tragedy.

In the next few days we’ll know more; maybe then we can have a discussion about ways to curb such unnecessary violence.  This, however, will not be that kind of post.

For now I simply ask for those that are inclined to pray or send wishes to do so to the families of the dead, and those in the mall that must have spent the afternoon feeling as terrified as a person can be.

And then, go find your children.  And your wives and husbands.  And your brothers and sisters and boyfriends and girlfriends and dearest friends, and hug them. Seriously, do it now.

Life is too short.

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11 thoughts on “A Call for Prayers and Best Wishes

  1. Daß es uns an Glauben fehle, kann man nicht sagen. Allein die einfache Tatsache unseres Lebens ist in ihrem Glaubenswert gar nicht auszuschöpfen.

    Hier wäre ein Glaubenswert? Man kann doch nicht nicht-leben.

    Eben in diesem «kann doch nicht» steckt die wahnsinnige Kraft des Glaubens; in dieser Verneinung bekommt sie Gestalt.

    ==

    We cannot say we lack faith. Even the simple fact of our life is an inexhaustible article of faith.

    Are you suggesting there is some article of faith in this? You can’t just not-live, after all.

    It is precisely in this ‘Can’t just’ that the bizarre strength of faith lies; in this negation it becomes real.

    That’s Kafka. We must have faith, if only faith in each other. Belief in God, or Justice or Reason or whatever else you might believe abstractly can be put aside. We must believe in life, in each other. There is a sustaining strength to such faith.

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  2. When I heard about this, my thoughts immediately turned to you and my other friend in the area – I am relieved that you were not there at the time. My deepest sympathies to the victims, their families, and the city of Portland.

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  3. I pray that the shooter’s gun jams in all of these situations, like it did yesterday.
    I also pray that someday attempts at discussing gun control aren’t shouted down.

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