After work this morning I took four of my dogs for a walk at Pisgah State Forest near my house. I don't like to take that many at a time because they don't listen very well when they're all together. They were pretty good today, though it was probably because we didn't see any other people. Sometimes that creeps me out though. This forest is 13,500 acres, 21 square miles and to get to the trail head I have to drive about three miles down a dirt road with very few houses; this makes me nervous when I really think about what it is I'm doing. I'm alone, I'm small, my dogs are small, four or not, and I'm too out of shape to out run anyone or anything, even jacked on adrenaline. I probably sound paranoid and crazy. But people are nutso these days and I don't want to be left wishing I could defend myself better.
I have friends who have had really fucked up things happen to them. Is it because their luck was bad, was it their fate to experience that pain, did they set themselves up for it by doing something stupid? I don't know. I always thought I was so lucky to have never had anything really fucked happen to me. Especially travelling across country all the time as a teenager, sometimes alone, sometimes with another young, pretty girl, maybe a skinny, tag-along, wasted boy. All the hitch-hiking and getting wasted at big, dark, loud festivals. And only a few times did I feel like I may be in danger but it always went my way, thank God. I've always told myself it's because predators look for someone they think they can take with minimal effort and that's just not me. You've seen movie scenes where someone has a gun put to their head and they're all, "Go ahead, shoot me! Motherfucker! I dare you to shoot me, I want you to shoot me!!". And the one with the gun doesn't know what the hell to do because they don't really want to have to go that far, they just want to put fear into the other, not kill them. Well, I always thought that if you could just muster a crazy more dark and deep than any your attacker may have known than you can scare them off. But that's obviously not true in a few situations, or maybe that just exposes my limit, perhaps it always works if you can go that far. Most people won't.
In the most current instance, those women didn't have time to do anything to defend themselves. What the hell do you do then?
I feel kind of silly admitting that I read The Shack after hearing about it on NPR. And I was surprised that I found it to be really helpful in understanding evil in the world. It's so easy to ask ourselves why God lets all this horrible, painful stuff happen to innocent people. But we need to remember that people have free will. I have to believe that there is not a God so vindictive and creepy that they would take pleasure from watching us inflict heartache upon one another. Otherwise, being made in the image of God, wouldn't we all find pleasure in the pain of others?
I don't know. I don't pretend to know what the fuck we are here for, or why it is so terrible and so beautiful.
Death, especially when it happens so brutally, seems so unfair, so wrong. But how can something that is everywhere be so scary? Why does it seem like we are designed to rage against death when it is inescapable? Or are immortalists on to something?