I am stunned by the news yesterday from the NRA, and stunned that we can't raise by a small percentage the taxes on millionaires. I don't know where to put that.
While reading Poets & Writers magazine, I learned about Paul Cruchow, who was once described as a contemporary Thoreau. That works for me, so I went to Amazon to look at his books, and there I discovered the perfect book for our times, Letters to a Young Madman, A Memoir by Paul Gruchow. It is an astonishing look at his struggle with mental illness that led to a successful suicide. It is also an insightful and sobering look at our mental health care system. The man is brilliant, and to read this now, to try to understand one who thinks the world would be better off without him or her, is, well, I can't even say how deeply I was affected by this book. I read it in the night. It is short essays, often just a paragraph interspersed with quotes from others. The word count is low; the impact, high.
It doesn't explain what happened in Newtown, but it gives incredible insight into mental illness.
There are so many parts I would like to place here, but perhaps I'll begin with one, a comment on Silence.
The effects of silence accumulate. The silence of one person alone magnifies prayer, meditation, thought, the music of the universe. The silence of two friends is a communion; silence between two enemies cultivates fear and loathing. Silence in a crowd breeds solidarity, anxiety, embarrassment, or laughter, depending upon the circumstances. But the silence of millions is the cornerstone of evil. - Paul Gruchow