Monday, August 08, 2011

Shooting in Akron


Tomorrow morning I'll be driving to Tassajara Zen Monastery in Carmel Valley, California. There is no Internet in Tassajara. Cell phone signals do not reach into the valley. There is one telephone that is shared by all of the students and guests. Suffice it to say, it will be difficult to reach me. Postal mail does reach Tassajara. But I doubt anyone who reads this is gonna send me a letter.

While I'm away the guy who moderates the comments section will be putting up a few articles I wrote. These have been published elsewhere, but they haven't been seen for a while.

Also, I put up that "Secure Your Mask" piece on SuicideGirls. So if you want to go look at it again there, you can.

Last night I got word of a mass shooting in Akron. The shooter killed seven people and seriously wounded two others before he was killed by police. The full story is available at this link (click here).

I first heard the story from my friend Miki in Japan. I assumed it must have been some sort of drug-related thing. There are, unfortunately, far too many people doing far too many drugs in Akron, Ohio. About an hour later I got a message from my friend Mark saying that most of the shooter's victims were close relatives of a mutual friend of ours.

Since the police have not released any names yet, I'm not going to do that here. I'll call Mark and my mutual friend L. Back in the early 90s I shared a rundown punkrock house in Akron's North Hill neighborhood. I inherited my room from L after she moved out and into a better place. I used to hang out with her sometimes and drink tea. Every guy I knew back then had a thing for L and so did I. She was beautiful and intelligent and radiated a kind of purity and wonderfulness that I find impossible to describe. But if I think about her I can still feel it even though I haven't seen L in over a decade. She ended up moving in with the leader of a band called Sleazy Jesus and the Splatter Pigs. In spite of his band's name, he was a really great guy. It was a good fit.

I don't know what to make of any of this. It appears that the shooter was the boyfriend of L's sister. That's L's sister's boyfriend, not L's boyfriend who was in the band. I don't want to speculate about why this happened. But one cannot help doing so. In any case I'm not going to put my speculations up on this blog.

I hate it — just absolutely hate and despise it — when people try to make some kind of a "dharma lesson" about every damned thing that happens. I hated it when people did that with David Coady. I'm not going to do that now.

I'm full of grief and anger today. I'll be working on that for the next few weeks. L's boyfriend has thanked their friends for their expressions of support but asked that we respect their privacy. So I'm doing so. I ask anyone reading this who either knows L or feels inclined to try and figure out who she is (seriously, please don't, there's a reason I'm not revealing her name) to do the same. Sometimes people need to be left alone and this is one of those times.

I'll chant a chant for L's family and light some incense at the altar down in Tassajara. What else can I do?

26 comments:

Leatrice said...

Earth mama hugs and light.. XOXO

Nathan said...

"I'm full of grief and anger today. I'll be working on that for the next few weeks." There's the dharma lesson.

It's all the flowery shit people sometimes throw over things that gets irritating.

Rachelle Allen-Sherwood said...

Oh Brad....

There's nothing I can say as it's just noise at this point in time. What you need most is s-p-a-c-e.

May peace find you in Tassajara.

love,
Rachelle

zillah1199 said...

We all had a thing for L - guys and girls. How could you not? I remember giving her a teddy bear when I found out she'd never had one. I doubt if she still has it, but I hope she can find some comfort in the coming days, at this terrible time.

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear of these things
Sad even when you don't know any of the victims personally
Condolences to all those grieving

Truly we never know then when or where of our last breath
That stuff written on the han
'do not waste time' is the best directive anyone could ever get
Except for maybe 'do not waste anything'

Glad you get some relatively quiet time in Tassajara, Brad.


I don't know that I'd make 'drugs' the fall guy
Undiagnosed, untreated mental illness wrecks havoc on every aspect of such a person's life--and drugs play a role of 'self medication' in many instances
All the more reason to seek that which drives one sane

We really don't have all that much time to do it in:
Best not to waste time

Coulda, shoulda....

Buddha!

Rick said...

I sent you a letter but in the spirit of Zen, left the paper blank and didn't address the envelope or put a return address.

That way it says whatever is appropriate to say at the time (or not) and you don't have to worry about losing it.

Anonymous said...

im so sorry.

Korey said...

Brad, what problems arise from practicing "too much" zazen, and what is "too much" zazen?

Sincerely yours,

The Man with 101 Bee Stings

Anonymous said...

So sad. So sorry.
km

Steven said...

All I can really do is send out my feelings of good will to you and all those effected by this craziness. And I'm glad you didn't try to make this whole thing into some dharma talk. That's actually what separates you from some of the chafe out there.

mother earth said...

Brad, life sucks sometimes eh? Just wanted to say you do us all a great example of "keepin it real"... cliche as it may be.

Btw is Tassajara real, unreal, surreal.... or depends on the day like anywhere else?

Anonymous said...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YLI6vHiDq0

Brad is away from the Internet.
Here is his teacher:

Anonymous said...

" A word that can be understood is a pole to which a donkey is tied for eons "

Compliments of Harry

robjones said...

my sincere condolences, I'm sorry to hear about this Brad.

Anonymous said...

It appears that punk rock is still popular in Great Britain. Top Of The Pops this week are "London's Burning" and "Anarchy In The UK".

Gustav said...

Brad, I'm so sorry. I'll light a candle and say a prayer in the church over here in northern Sweden too. Sometimes, as you wrote, what else can we do? Take care // Gustav

proulx michel said...

Anonymous said...

It appears that punk rock is still popular in Great Britain. Top Of The Pops this week are "London's Burning" and "Anarchy In The UK".

Not to forget this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiQoq-wqZxg
(Guns of Brixton)

Anonymous said...

That's "London Calling" not "London's Burning". Nice try, though.

Seagal Rinpoche said...

The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.

Anonymous said...

Marcus Aurelius?

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”

Anonymous said...

proulx michel,
it's better with the french girls of nouvelle vague...

"How you gonna come?"

Anonymous said...

Not liking the new system very much. You had a happening blog despite some warts. Now you have a warty boring blog. What's the point? I can be bored elsewhere.

plastic card said...

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Stephanie said...

Brad,

I'm finding myself just a bit speechless as to what to say here, other than I'm so, so incredibly sorry to hear that something this terrible has happened. There's not really anything words can say, anyway, that can help, other than to let you know that there are people out there who care. If you think it's appropriate, please send my condolences to L, her sister and their family. I can't even begin to imagine the world of hurt that you're all in right now over this. I'm brand spaking new to Zen, and so know none of the chants, etc. just yet, but I'll be lighting incense and offering up energy for the healing of you, L, her family, and the shooter, later today. My heart goes out to you all Brad. May you find the peace and healing you all need.

Medical Health Information Resources said...

Everything I can do is really my good feeling will send you and all those who carry out this madness. And I'm glad you try it all to do some act of Dharma. That is actually what plane you some of divorce.

www.camobel.info said...

This won't truly have success, I think this way.