Monday, April 15, 2013
Mango Momma Reflections
How to begin?
The bombing at the Boston Marathon.
My first concern was for people I knew who were in the marathon or watching. Selfish, I know, but that's human nature. After that, I scanned reports of friends of friends who were also OK as if every person accounted for would somehow erase the fact that two people are dead, many others seriously injured.
Acts of violence are, sadly, a fact of being human. This is nothing new. History is filled with atrocities committed in the name of the state, religion, or any number of beliefs that eradicating one life will somehow "better" the lives of those left behind.
When confronted directly with violence, there is no ready response in the catalog of human emotion that will set the mind at ease.
If I am honest, the overriding emotion is one of fear for my own mortality, followed by fear that all I hold dear could be swiftly taken away. We're all going to die. Most of us, through some insult to our person of disease or age. But for some few, their lives will be ripped away by violent means. And when that happens, the mind reels out of control, seeks reason, seeks answers, seeks something that will make it all logical.
That comfort is not to be found.
And so we join together in the immediate aftermath.
But slowly, our ordinary lives will take over. Slowly the shock retreats into the corners of the mind, replaced by the day to day.
One thing I have learned in life is that there is nothing that can prepare you for the reality of a tragic life event. We can watch all the news footage we want of disasters, man-made or other, offer sympathy, say the right words, but until it happens to you, you will never know what it really means.
The Boston Marathon bombing didn't happen to me. It did not kill or hurt anybody I know. Which leaves me conflicted. The relief that I am OK, my friends are OK, is overwhelming. Kick up my heels happy making. Not me! Not me! But that relief is countered by an overwhelming sadness that casts a darkness over everything I see and touch in my small, safe world.
I cannot know what the families are feeling. But I am thinking of them. I cannot change human nature. I cannot create a world without violence. But I can try to find the balance between living my life and doing my part to fight against hatred fueled horrors, both locally and globally.
It isn't easy. Not for me. Not for any of us.