Surprise and imagination can be both wonderful experiences and dangerous concepts.  We’re trained early in life to find surprise in the world around us, usually juxtaposed against the wilds of nature. We are often encouraged to “think outside the box” and to reimagine reality in ways that can fundamentally change the way we view the world and our role within it. Nothing is out of reason. Everything is possible.

There were two remarkable, maddening, things that happened over the weekend. Both events were related to fame and the failure of human consequence against the living, but the terms of the punishments were different: Both eternal, but one forever ended.

On Saturday, we read in the New York Times about the harrowing child abuse Dylan Farrow suffered at the hands of her infamous father, writer, director, actor and movie producer, Woody Allen.

On Sunday, we learned of the early death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman who, at age 46, lived up to his earlier prescience about fame and fortune leading to a quick Hollywood death.  He made his point real in New York City with a needle jabbed in the arm of his corpse.

On February 17, 2012 I wrote an article — When Doctors Fire Patients — that dealt with, among other things, the anti-vaccination efforts of some people — led by debunked semi-celebrity Jenny McCarthy — who believe childhood immunizations cause Autism even though there is, and has never been, any empirical medical proof for that claim.  When pressed for scientific evidence, the anti-vaccine believers simply talk about “mother’s intuition” and other nonsense that not only puts their non-immunized children at risk for disease, but the rest of society at risk as well as these unprotected children become certain carriers of diseases that should have been eradicated from the face of the earth.

On Janna’s way to work this morning, she snapped this image with her iPhone and emailed it to me.  She’s done that in the past with a copper moon, and a Steve Jobs memorial, but these flowers, and this mourning this morning was different.

This shrine was filled with hurt and rage and you can find it all right now at the Barnes & Noble bookstore on the corner of West 8th Street and the Avenue of the Americas; for this is the spot where Mark Carson, a 32-year-old Gay man, was gunned down a few days ago — shot in the face by an impromptu stalker just for being who he was — and so the latest Greenwich Village New York City hate crime is now on the police blotter, written in blood on a public sidewalk.

They say that time heals — I beg to differ. It may cloud and diminish generalities, but on this day, every year, the pain is still the pain that only the gut wrenching sorrow that the loss of a child can bring. True that pain is confined to this day and this day alone and in spite of all my efforts and strategies over the years to cope with it, deal with it, or even try to ignore it altogether, I never quite manage to do so.