Thursday, April 18, 2013
i listen to a lot of audio books. it quiets my mind when i drive. i’ve been listening a lot this week. i’ve been taking shifts between the news and the latest chapter in the eragon series. it’s seeming like weird behavior to me, so i guess this is my attempt to straighten it out in my head...
i’m not sure, but i think i’ve needed to escape into a world of dragons and wizards...where there are clear boundaries between good and evil and in the end of it all there’s at least some quantifiable probability of a happy ending.
in trying to process the events that took place right down the street from my home, i think about the families and children whose lives will never be the same after the horrors they faced on monday.
whenever i leave my book, i think about them.
i struggle as i stubbornly hold on to the belief that all people are good...deep down...even when their realities get so twisted and mutated that they can commit the worst kinds of evil...
i feel ashamed that the bombings that took place all across iraq on sunday, the day before, didn’t have this affect on me. among the many killed were 10 actual candidates in their upcoming elections! across their entire country....every
day...they live with this.
i think about the memories that i have, walking down boylston street throughout my life...the same block.
in this book i am listening to, the hero’s commit absurdly violent acts of brutality in battle as they defend their homes and families. why does that seem so different to me?
i think about these things and i feel hollow.
because i can’t figure them out.
i can’t make sense of them.
i don’t know why i’m sending this to you. maybe it’s because i believe that these are questions we are all struggling with right now, and in lieu of answers, it’s at least a comfort to know that we struggle together.
i close my eyes and feel the air go into my lungs. the sensation feels good.
during the same minute, 7 billion other people are feeling the same thing. the twisted...the happy... newborns... soldiers... villains... presidents... everyone. right now. this instant.
and as we breathe our hearts beat, and days pass, and we struggle, and smile, and sometimes we close our eyes, and someday i will close my eyes and they won’t open again, and when that happens, i still won’t have answers to the questions i’ve been asking this week.
and i guess that’s ok.
and i guess i’m glad i don’t live in the worlds created within my fantasy novels.
because maybe the true substance of a life is formed when we are faced with questions we cannot answer. maybe the best part of ourselves is the part that realizes we will never be able to understand how someone could touch metal pieces with their hands as they place them inside a pot, and know that those same pieces will be tearing away the flesh of someone else’s body. ...and still somehow we garner the will to get out of bed in the morning. and face the day. and face the horrors that may befall us...as we walk down a street, in a city we’ve lived in our whole lives.
fire, and smoke, and screams all around, and people ran toward it on monday. the “why” was pushed aside for “how can i help.” hundreds of doctors, suddenly finding themselves in the midst of a trauma unit...undaunted...magical...real life wizards who heal our broken bodies. my gruff and jagged city coming together with such love and strength, that i have to turn off the radio to keep from crying...because i am so proud. the rest of the country getting our backs. yeah, we feel you here in boston. this week, the cops that usually give me tickets, and the government responsible for the dig, are now MY cops, and MY government. and this is MY town. watch us fight...
what did the bombers hope to do? shatter us?
watch me love just a little stronger after marathon monday. sing a little louder. burn a little brighter. remember that i am not alone. remember that during the next minute after i take my last breath, there will be 7 billion other breaths to carry on. and those 7 billion people won’t have answers either, but they will continue to love and live amidst storms and sirens and laughter.
and i hope that if you are reading this,
someday soon we meet along the road,
and maybe, as we pass,
our eyes will meet with unanswered questions behind their lenses,
and for a moment,