A tropical storm blew across the city today. Seventy-mile winds and a couple of inches of rain. Then it turned into a beautiful evening. Walking down the street, I resisted the urge to take pictures of all the people taking pictures of tipped-over trees and scattered branches. More and more it feels like bad juju to contribute to these dynamics, although I’m not quite sure why. There’s Sontag again: “Today everything exists to end in a photograph.”

Meanwhile, there was a massive explosion in Beirut. Mushrooming clouds of debris. Fireballs filled the sky. These images were immediately recorded, compiled, and transmitted across the world’s screens. The cause remains unknown.

Maybe human brains aren’t equipped for this, absorbing painful images from everywhere at once without context or the ability to act.