I’ve been distracted all day by the horrific events that took place in Norway yesterday. All those young people gunned down–it exceeds my capacity to comprehend, and it leaves me feeling rather lost.

Much of my professional life was spent dealing with criminal and deviant behavior–some of which was directed at young people. A delusional woman who killed her child by putting her in an oven; a man crazy on drugs who laid his young son across his lap and stabbed him repeatedly–then turned him over and did it again; a serial pedophile who bought, sold and traded young boys and girls, some of whom I believe he murdered.

It’s not possible for me to forgive crimes like that, but on some intellectual level I could generally comprehend the reasoning behind the behavior And there was always some sort of reasoning, even if it was skewed crazily out of proportion. I didn’t often comprehend how a person could act on that reasoning–but knowing the reasoning existed allowed me to deal with the person.

But what happened in Norway–the methodical killing of young people that went on and on for close to ninety minutes–who can understand the reasoning behind that? Maybe I’m just unwilling to make the attempt, I don’t know. Either way, it’s left me feeling untethered in the universe.

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