Now I know what that midnight crashing noise was. Last night this happened in the house across the street from mine. The crash was a window or door being forced open. Nothing really needs to be said. It’s awful. News crews have trickled by throughout the day. I didn’t even know about it until I went out to my car at 11am and stopped to talk to the Univision reporter milling around outside. It’s a queasy feeling, to imagine this kind of thing happening around you, and not knowing anything about it. Walls, even brick ones, are not thick, but they are thick enough. Part of me wonders if there are certain habits of civil indifference, habits that I participate in, that contribute to this state of ignorance. The other part of me recognizes the terrible trust that we give people to maintain their private lives. I’m also aware that we buffer ourselves against other people’s crises and pain. We must. Those who are unable to, devote themselves to ending it. I wonder if compassionate people find a different kind of buffer, a source of strength (being?) that enables them to draw near to pain (non-being?) without becoming subsumed in it. That is the mystery of the incarnation after all, how God shared completely in our humanity without getting mired in it. I get mired so easily.