Friday, April 26, 2013
I Step Back
I feel red. Raw. I've been glued to the news as much as I can be. I've watched too much, likely. But there is so much happening around the world, I could not look away. I was watching CNN when the fertilizer plant went off in West, Texas. I watched that. It was crazy. I caught that because I was watching the Boston Marathon Bombing coverage. It was breaking news. I saw things I wish I could un-see and I wasn't even there. Yet, there were moments that have nothing to do with blood and suffering. Or guns and bombs. Or (let me just say) the well-oiled machinery of people with a common goal (saving lives). The moment that moved me the most is the exposed thigh of a senior citizen being wheeled into a triage tent. My heart went out to this woman who could not preserve her dignity because that was the last thing anybody needed to worry about. These are the moments that strike me the most. I know that first responders died in an attempt to put out a fire at this plant. I know. I also know that becoming drawn in to it all is too much. I know I need to walk away, but I hear a heartbeat within myself when I see these people going through these things. I wonder how I would react. The thing I realize is that there is no right way to react other than to think about saving lives. Nobody wants to live their life as though they could be blasted into next week at any moment, but if you are... I do know, however, why the caged bird sings... it's scary out there. I never feel safe altogether because I know there is no such thing as safety. All I have is faith. I have to have faith. Faith to just get up and face the day. That is all I know.
I look myself in the eye and I see a current within me that is stronger than my self. I am more than these fears. I am not composed of fear. I am life. A life. My life. My heart. My blood. My question now is how do I shed these deep rivulets of emotion that are welling up in me over it all now that things seem calm again? How can I deal with all these feelings and all my questions? Somehow I don't think getting back to my regular routine will do the trick, but what else can I do?
There is one thing I know for sure and it is this; instead of trying to conquer the terrorist enemy, we need to spread the message on a global scale that the radicalism that is duping a person into behaving destructively towards innocent people is not only destructive on a social scale, it is also destructive on a personal scale. Bombing a marathon in the name of jihad to show support for a nation/cause/belief leaves an individual drained of all self-worth. I think of the Jonestown incident... it's about the same thing only not as openly creepy... subscribing to the belief of another person leaves you in their control. Why would anyone with a modicum of self-worth want to do that? Preforming violent acts in the name of anything is the wrong way to go. That is the message we need to see and to learn again and again, it seems.
It's been a very trying past few weeks for me. Not only have I been sick with a real bitchy little cold, I have been so depressed by all these news stories. I have been annoyed by the persistent cold weather. I feel lonely. Frustrated. My academic pursuits have taken up all my time and though I may know a lot more French than I did four months ago, I feel hollowed out by my lack of creative motivation. In essence, I am in the thick of my own decisions. It was my choice to go back to school, it was my choice to take French. I did not choose, however, that the world turn itself upside down for the hundredth time. I miss my little house in the woods. I miss the days when I didn't bother turning on the television and I didn't worry about anyone beyond myself, Ian, and my children. Ah, but we cannot rest in the cocoon forever, lest we die. We must allow the metamorphosis to occur because that's what life is all about. It is not about repeating the same cycle over and over again and expecting different (or maybe the same) results. It's about trying something completely new, out of your comfort zone, isn't it? Well, if that is the case, consider me 100% uncomfortable. I look around and I don't recognize the world I live in. I spent too much time on the mountain. I miss my strange solitude. I miss my trees. I miss being shut off from the world. It is so much easier to shut ourselves off from the world! I don't want to do that anymore. But make no mistake, for me, there is no cozy childhood memory to nestle into in times like this. My world has understood death since I remember remembering. My world was a little terror plot all on its own and the culprit was my father's innate desire to build things. My world has always felt, to me, like I am on the precipice of a very steep cliff at the edge of the sea. I look down and see my doom. I look up and feel dizzy with fear. Oh, but when I look off into the horizon I see the beautiful ocean stretching out before me like eternity and I hope for something amazing to be waiting for me just over that horizon. I also hope not to fall. I step back.