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This Morning, This Place

For years, I logged in to start my Network day at 7 A.M. sharp.

Not since late last August, though, when my youngest started kindergarten. Since then I don’t log in until 7:30, 7:45, sometimes even 8—not until I’ve helped her get ready and seen her off to school.

That felt different this morning.

The child’s already been through one active-shooter lockdown. In her first full week of school, a teenager shot another teenager at the high school less than a mile from her elementary school. The shooter fled. The victim died. When my child got home she told me they “got to play hide-and-seek in the dark” while her teacher sat against the classroom door. She said the principal told them over the intercom that they were locking them inside to keep them safe. She thought he meant safe from the late-summer storms passing through that day.

Later today we’ll send, as we always do, the Weekly E-Blast, chock-full of information and opportunities and celebrations. That will feel different, too. I put it together yesterday, and I’m glad that I did. Today it would feel trivial.

I’m not going to write some platitude now about the need to bear witness, or about the urgency of writers’ work at such a time and in such a place as this. I’ll save my rage for my personal spaces, not this professional one. I don’t believe I’ll even try to make a point here, much less a moral.

I can’t even say for sure why I’m writing this, now, here. I don’t even know how it will end.