A break in my usual transmission today, because I’m sad. I believe in the good of people and humanity. I’m reassured from seeing those rush towards the Boston blasts while people ran in shock from the smoke. But I’m sick in my heart at attempted mass murder in the midst of joy.
I’m just another very small voice in many, asking why? They didn’t bomb strategic infrastructure. They bombed strategic HUMAN community infrastructure. The finish line in the Boston Marathon? A place of victory, relief, joy, exhaustion, and community is something to be broken? To what aim? I’m not sure why I’m asking for answers but it seems as humans that’s what we do when something horrendous and nonsensical takes place. The Twin Towers were figureheads and mascots. The human toll was sickening, but some reasonings of madmen could be fashioned together from the rubble. The London tube bombings, again, were atrociously effective as far as the impact on human life, but also strategically impacted a key piece of infrastructure, causing maximum disruption and devastation. In Boston? I can’t resolve this in my mind, though obviously the disruption, chaos and confusion is enormous as emergency services attempt to manage the injured, the panic and the crowds. It really seems there was no goal other than death.
The dramatic juxtaposition of life, health and strength, in pushing your body to the limits to run for four hours to reach a finish line and cheering crowd, to meet a reward of death and horror is unfathomable. I’ve made light of running before, mainly because I can’t do it. For runners though, I have immense respect. They have a mental toughness I admire and covet. Only two days ago a friend drove to Canberra for the half marathon. She ran 21 km in under 2 hours (1 hour 42 to be precise), had a rest, then jumped in the car to drive 3.5 hours back to Sydney to her family. RESPECT. That is tough. To attempt to break people who are the toughest among us, and those spectating, supporting and buoying these people along, is the most cowardly of acts. It makes me sad for humanity that someone thought to do this.
I was in a small town in the south of Spain in September 2011. I remember the surreal sense of disconnection and confusion, watching the images on television with Spanish voiceover. The planes flying into the buildings made no sense, and the woman at the front desk of the small hostel we checked into was equally confused, as it was early afternoon in the idyllic seaside village, and the news of the terrorist attacks had not yet filtered through. Today I imagine my husband feels a similar way, disconnected in a hotel room in Chicago. We lambast the media for overkill, but we crave their connection to make sense. I’ll watch till I have my fill of answers, then stop listening. I don’t want to wallow in any melodrama.
Fittingly, my children are also sick today, and the sky is crying. I’m only writing this to help with the making sense – not because my voice has anything useful to add. I need to shield my girls and get on with being smiley, which is much easier with this out of me. I will hold them close as we wait to make sense, and watch to see humanity unite around the world.
[Photo credit: NY marathon, 2010 via photopin]