As if the world couldn't get any more crazy, then came the shooting at the Jewish Federation in Seattle. The war struck here.
A friend emailed us asking how we were doing. Robin responded with everything I would want to express, but more eloquently. Here is her letter.
Dear Mary Ellen,
We are quite sad about the shooting. Friday night dinner with my mom was almost silent. We were stunned, then. My mom is angry, I'm sad, Doug is doing tons of fix-it things to get back control. It turns out the guy is bipolar and had been acting out all year (including standing in a fountain at a mall and flashing women who walked by--classic manic behavior). It helps that he's crazy. Most of the people shooting each other and blowing up themselves in the Mideast are clinically "sane", it's the culture that makes them act crazy. The funny thing is, we had a Palestinian therapist staying with us for the first half of the week. She does the same kind of therapy that I do, and was in town for more training. She was ill (newly pregnant with complications) and Doug and I took care of her like family. People can get along and not see the "other" as the enemy, sometimes. I don't know if you know it, but we were in Israel in January. We spent a few days in towns that are now being bombed, Haifa and Acre. It's grievous to see what's happening. I'm even sorrier for the Lebanese. The human loss, displacement, and destruction are terrible. Most of those folks aren't political. They just want to survive. So do the Israelis. My Palestinian guest said that all the leaders in the Mideast are fools and worse. It's easy to see why she thinks that. Every square foot of that area is soaked in thousands of years of piety and blood. Every 50 years or so some other invader took over, killed a bunch of people, and tried to convert everybody to the right way. There's so much cumulative trauma that I can't imagine them all getting over it, and seeing each other as human/related/the same/and worthy of being left alone.