There was an earthquake in New Zealand earlier today, as I’m sure you all have heard about by now.

I heard about the earthquake on Twitter before I heard about it anywhere else. This is my fault for checking Twitter before I checked any “real” news sources, but it’s still a weird feeling.

My reaction is largely the same as everyone else’s – I want to say something that will express concern or sorrow about what happened. You know, something meaningful. Anything meaningful. As a facebook status update or a tweet or blog post or something.

But I can’t seem to get there, no matter how many times I rewrite this post or retype my would-be tweets or anything else. My thought pattern is as follows: there’s no point in calling it a tragedy, because this is obvious, and labeling it as such accomplishes nothing. There’s no point in saying “I hope everyone is okay,” because they aren’t okay. People are dead, or they’ve lost family members or their homes or just the sense that the earth will not actually move out from under their feet. And saying some variation on a theme of “I’m sending thoughts/prayers/hopes for recovery” seems repetitive, as it’s already been said in 50,000 other posts/updates/tweets before mine.

So I find myself sitting here with multiple social platforms on which to say anything at all about the New Zealand earthquake, and all I can come up with is that I think it’s odd, yet indicative of life (either my life specifically, or “life in these times” if you prefer the global version), that I heard about it from Neil Gaiman’s Twitter feed before I learned anything else about it.

I’m leaving it with that, and hoping that people don’t think I’m callous for not posting some sort of platitude about hoping things get better quickly. I do hope that. But I can’t see the point in clogging peoples’ newsfeeds with it.