The first and most significant thing I remember is the fog of "war." I've been through a few chaotic events in my life. My response is very familiar. I get very calm and alert while those around me tend to turn stupid. I remember the Oklahoma City bombing where Katie Couric (embarrassingly enough a graduate of my alma mater) was on the TV asking people if it was the work of Muslim terrorists. (It wasn't...) I went to the Wall Street Journal online where it was reported that an event at the JFK library might have been part of it all. (It wasn't.) A dear friend texted me that her boyfriend said 20 were killed. (The tally is 3 and counting now.) I looked at the online comments after the articles where "the usual suspects" were spouting their theories, and hate for political groups they despised. I walked down the hall to the break room where someone (regrettably) had turned on MSNBC. There Chris Matthews was talking about actions of "the far right." Whenever Chris Matthews disagrees with someone, "the far right" rolls off his tongue like fluid trickles from a drunk urinating in a subway station. Did they find two unexploded bombs? Could it be true? (No...)
Late in the night I begin to see pictures. There was the charring on the pavement. There was unexploded powder near the epicenter of the bomb blast. (Amateurs...) There were bits of shrapnel here and there, likely pieces of random metal added to the bomb powder.
As of yet, we still don't know who did it. But it was Patriots Day - a holiday significant to New Englanders. It was The Boston Marathon - an international sporting event. The two blasts happened near the finish line in the crowd at about the average time a person finishes the race. Facts slowly emerge from the fog of misinformation and prejudiced thought.
I am calm. I am quietly angry. I won't forget. There but for the grace of God go I.
Bruce Lee wrote:Not being tense but ready.
Not thinking but not dreaming.
Not being set but flexible.
Liberation from the uneasy sense of confinement.
It is being wholly and quietly alive, aware and alert, ready for whatever may come.
Today I am a Bostonian.