This is not the post I wanted to post today.
I am looking at a picture. It's a professional photo, so I don't have the rights to post it, but it's a precious photo for me. It shows me, my spouse, and my son with another father and son, in a whitewater raft (the only time I've done white water) on a river in Pennsylvania, as we shot out the gate and into our wild adventure.
It was taken on July 7, 2005, minutes after we had found out about the London bombings now known as the "7/7 bombings".
The Manchester bombings of (for us in Eastern Time in the United States) early last night will now join the ranks of the millions of atrocities we humans have inflicted on ourselves, all over our world. This wasn't just any bombing, it was quickly obvious, but one that targeted teens and children trying to have a good time with a suicide bomb full of nails. It was timed to occur just as the concert ended, as the bomber knew well people would be crowding together to leave.
There are many other incidents, of course, that never even reach the media, people suffering as the world never knows (or, in some instances, cares).
In some ways that picture of my family and another poised on the edge of of churning water is a metaphor of our world. The white rapids come, and they come, and they come. All the kindness of the world doesn't seem to matter at times like this, even as Manchester mobilizes to shield the living victims and give them shelter, medical treatment, and comfort.
Now, the cycle of hate will continue. So all we can do is voice our condemnation, and try to continue to live our lives as normally as we can. It won't be easy.
But we must, or those forces would have won.