July 23, 2012 · 9:04 am

I spent some time this weekend struggling to find a quote; a piece of wisdom that could adequately express the pain our country has experienced in these past few days. In the end, I couldn’t. But a picture has thousands of words, and I happened to take this one a couple of weeks ago. I thought it better captured some of the things that I would like to say:

When things happen that are so senseless, so unreal (yet all too horrifyingly true), we often struggle to wrap our minds around it all. When I heard about the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado, on Friday morning, I lost hope for the world, even if just for a moment. In retrospect, cruelty obviously exists in the world a thousand times over, but the sheer volume- and proximity- of this event drove it headlong into the stream of my consciousness, as I’m sure it did for most Americans, just as the attacks on September 11th did before. Was I slightly ignorant to such senseless violence before? Did I “forget?” Perhaps. But I don’t dwell on that, because this certainly is not the time for criticism, and life is a learn-as-you-go experience, full of reminders that bring us back to reality, anyhow.

I took this picture a couple of weeks ago because one of my favorite things about New York is its moments of unexpected beauty that come together to make the city so unique and beautiful as a whole. This was that quintessential moment. Today, it serves as a reminder that in the midst of adversity, senseless violence, and unspeakable, unthinkable action- the crap that often surrounds us in this world- beauty and hope does exist. Sometimes it is so difficult to find, but once we stop looking, it emerges unannounced… and allows us to experience it that much more deeply. I think that grief is very similar.

My thoughts and prayers are with all those directly (and indirectly) affected by the shooting in Aurora.

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