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This isn’t the post, the subject, the blog…this writer wanted to write.
Life. Tragedy. Death. They always trump plans.
Five teen-aged high school kids shot.
By another teen-aged high school student.
Grief is something no one is immune, not the young, the old, the sibling, the parent…no one.
And grief is something slightly removed from the rest of us who witness tragedy from a safe distance of Breaking News Alerts and ALL CAP BOLD HYPERLINKS on web news.
Fear is something else that no one, too, is immune.
The lucky majority only senses it from the news posts.
Others got their dose of terror second hand from text messages sent out by those living in it in the moment.
Such is how connected we are in today’s world.
Actual terror is only a tweet away.
There is something else we are connected to in today’s world: danger.
There are fewer and fewer safe places left.
Bad bars and bad neighborhoods were where we used to go to find danger.
Others were drafted or volunteered and went to war to find danger.
But that was a long time ago.
Danger now searches and finds us anyplace we are at anytime.
Danger now comes not as some type cast B movie henchman but as a teen-aged boy.
Danger comes so stealthily we don’t notice it.
Life isn’t literature where an early chapter foreshadows events in the later ones.
Maybe there were warnings, alarms, messages not needing decoded.
A cry for help or a war cry not heeded.
But that is for the professional investigators.
Tonight six families know their lives will never be the same.
Tonight a community knows it will never be the same.
And the rest of us know…we are the same because there will be another day like this repeated somewhere else once thought safe.
No one is immune.
A decade as gone by with enough speed to cause whiplash and vertigo; Einstein did not factor aging in his relativity formula.
Like many of you, I was fortunate to experience that day from the insecure safety of my office, listening to the radio, searching the internet, and stealing away to the building manager’s office to catch a few minutes of coverage, trying to make sense of all the destruction, death, chaos, fear, terror, anger…ten years later and it still doesn’t make sense.
There’s a rouge plane over Cleveland’s air space…and downtown is evacuated.
The cliché is we were unified. In a way, yes. One time during this era of fragmented media we all watched the same event at the same time. Pardon a quick prayer: may we never unify like that again.
As Charles Krauthammer put, we were united in grief.
We have some 364 odd days to return to our great never-ending partisan debate. Today is not one.
The sadness and anger were so intertwined that it was hard almost impossible to untangle them. As one not prone to prayer, that one type of relief was not readily available. So, I wetted my eyes as I steamed. And I wasn’t alone with that.
We have not had in this decade another cliché: closure. Yes, Bin Laden is dead and it was and still is a cause to rejoice. But unlike WWII, there is no VE or VJ day, no iconic kiss from a sailor to a nurse. We can only let our sadness and anger dissipate with the vagueness that comes from this ongoing battle war against Islamic terrorists.
And pause to remember with another cliché: a moment of silence.
In that moment is a search for a prayer.
A few days after that day as baseball and football returned, I thought of a little prayer:
May all your heroes be on the field of play.
Because, after witnessing firemen and police rush into the smoking towers never to return, I could not use the word hero for someone catching a football or hitting a homerun. Same with words like battle and war. Their meaning and purpose are succinctly clear and concrete to me; even 10 years later.
Another cliché: we will never forget.
Healing is not forgetting. Our nation’s calendar is filled with red lettered days and this is just one more. We have not forgotten any of them even as we have moved on and rebuilt ourselves repeatedly. Is a decade to soon to do that with 9/11? Or are we holding tight lest we feel we have let down the dead and their survivors? Are we to become a nation frozen in our grief like those mourners who never change their deceased loved one’s room after the day of their death?
We will work it out, we always do. And the clock aids us with it.
One oddity of 9/11 was the dearth of films about it.
United 93 was one powerful film about that day centered on the heroic actions of the passengers of that one flight in fighting back against the terrorist hijackers.
When the plane’s door shuts and locks for the final time, I gripped my armrest in the theater. The director’s skill put me there inside. We know how it ends, but the film’s ending is powerful regardless.
As the passengers fight to gain control, there is a montage of the spinning ground through the windshield filling the screen…then black silence. The audience sat in this moment of blackness silent as well.
Inside there is my last prayer.
At that moment, no matter how long that moment takes, as we go to black, may we find the courage to face it, may the silence be the prayer you cannot form, and may it be answered.
Added three posts written and emailed while the site was down:
One of my resolutions was to increase postings on this site. Technical difficulties slowed down that effort.
But each new month is a new beginning (just ask my mortgage and credit card holders) so will be my resolution.
This is 12 hours late but it is January 1, 2011. One of those date combos for number geeks: 1/1/11. Maybe this has some supernatural double-secret meaning to Gary the Numbers Guy. But so did Number Nine…Number Nine…Number Nine…to the LSD generation.
Happy New Year!
The 2010 calendar is now in the recycle bin for Wednesday pick up. We again try to trick ourselves that a brand new day, brand new year, will somehow transport us into a brand new people. Acid, anyone?
Because I quit drinking alcohol years ago my New Year’s hangovers are different.
As December 31 drops away to January 1 we sometimes get caught up in the past and the emotional toll life sometimes squats and drops steaming onto our walkway.
This causes just as severe a migraine as whiskey, vodka, rum, and beer do.
Red eyes and black bags to follow.
Black coffee and toast to revive.
Happy New Year!
So this is my hangover on this first day of January of the first day of the second decade of this pre-teen millennium.
I am reading Mark Twain’s autobiography; a Christmas gift from the Mrs. This is the one authorized for release 100 years after his death so he could write as freely and truthfully about himself and others.
How different from our public confessional Jerry Springer existence his world view is or was.
I will take my cue from this esteemed man, Twain not Springer, and keep the details close to my vest.
The New Year was ushered in with tissues for tears instead of confetti for cheers.
Healing from tragedy takes time. I know this all too well from what life as done to me and what I have in turn done to life.
And so it will be with us here. The Kid will heal while still hurting. We will heal as we hurt watching and comforting her the best we can.
Parental clichés are true to some extent.
Mothers feel the needle prick of a vaccination shot their baby gets.
It doesn’t ever stop.
I will allow my mind tricked into believing changing the calendar page means change.
Numbers have meaning.
Happy New Year!
A killer virus that pretended to be a virus infected the PC and required a complete removal and rebuild of its Windows OS.
This is where Carbonite came into play. Because I have a subscription, I didn’t lose any files. But, I have many apps and programs needing re-installed.
Recovery is a long and slow process.
They’re reading names out
Over the radio
All the folks the rest of us
Won’t get to know
Sean and Julia
Gareth, Ann, and Breda
Their lives are bigger than
Any big idea
Peace on Earth – U2
Today we enter our 234th year.
We were born in revolution and continued as revolutionaries. After our revolt and war for independence from Britain we again revolted against ourselves and created the constitutional government we have now.
Within this framework we continue to revolt, reform, and recreate ourselves. Sometimes the revolution goes too far afield from our founding and we push, pull, and counter revolt our way back again.
We should keep that in mind as our current argument plays itself out.
What we are, what we have is larger than any one of us including the current president.
We have faced constitutional questions that seemed too difficult to master. Some proved themselves to be too difficult and resulted in a Civil War to resolve.
Other constitutional “crisis” were averted because of the very nature of our document allowed for such crisis and their resolution. I am thinking about Watergate.
At many points along our time-line are spots where an unanswerable question seems to have been raised and stumped us. But from here, years, decades, and even centuries from those questions, we marvel at how we survived; how it isn’t that big a deal anymore.
Slavery, women’s voting rights, tensions between states and federal, war powers, economic cycles: all these questions are resolved or at least answered satisfactorily enough to move us along. Those still left unresolved are the fodder, the issues, we will raise as we move forward through our various election cycles.
There is a cliché that this election it the most important election ever. We have heard it many times.
In my life, especially my more cognizant adult one, there were quite a few: 1980, 1994, and maybe this one in 2010. At the time of them did we really know or did history show it to be? 2000 was important only after 9/11.
I believe 1980 and 1994 were considered significant while they were happening. 2010 is showing itself that way to us now.
But this year, like previous years, and years not yet unfolded, is just one set piece of the greatest most important years ever: 1776 and 1787. Without them where and who would we be?
Today we argue about the very nature of our liberty and constitution.
Is it any different than when Patrick Henry exclaimed “Give me liberty or give me death”?
There are no new jokes only new comedians.
There aren’t any new arguments only new citizens making them.
Long may we argue.
Happy Independence Day.
Greetings from The Windy City. Not the real one–Clevo–but the pretender, Chicago.
So, I’m just sitting here in my doubletree room, finished their cookie treat and don’t know how long that will last under this regime in D.C.. The First Lady is on a huge obesity binge. This hotelier had better watch out or the regime will target it. Maybe soon they will give out broccoli stalks shaped like the twin tree logo they have. Don’t you love how compassionately tolerant the left are unless you happen to be fat?
It was quite a weekend.
Sunday this radical went to the Tea Party Express III (two more sequels than the Obama Regime should have) at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds in Berea.
At the entry way I spotted one adult with two small children. They were holding small poster-board hand made signs protesting the protest (isn’t that some kind of double negative?). But like a lot of newbies to the art of the protest, they crammed too many words in too small a space to see the message clearly as I drove past. They incorporated a crudely drawn steaming coffee mug–aha, they are the coffee party folks we hear all the time from the Regime’s official media quackers (double good duck speakers). These three are the Berea Coffee Party! I take mine strong hot and black.
From what I could gather, they wanted us–The Tea Partiers–know that they thanked The Regime for the Health Care Deformation Law; eventhough they like the the ones who wrote it and The One Who signed it don’t know WTF is in it.
Maybe their thanks are misplaced. On behalf of those who are footing the bill, you’re welcome. I knew you knew that because you already feel welcome to my tax money.
Mr. Grayglo’s The Kid manages a coffee shop in a small central Kentucky college town. One day some women asked if they could have their Coffee Party there. They wanted to know if The Kid’s shop could handle the crowd of Coffee Party people. She said, sure. They handle big crowds like when it is the weekend high school seniors are visiting the college that’s the centre of the town. Or the Brass Band festival. But she advised them they couldn’t hang any political signs because her coffee house is apolitical.
The day of the much ballyhooed Coffee Party came and…six people were there! I mean there were more in the coffee shop as it is the hub of social activity. But as for the Coffee Party folks, only six. They were able to serve all without difficulty, the Kid reported.
Monday was opening day of Progressive Field.
What can I say…another lost season seems apparent. Even in this weak division the Tribe looks like the weakest team. Seven games in and I feel like a Democrat supporter (kind of like an athletic supporter but with nothing to hold) reading polls and dreading November 2.
Indians lost 4-2 to the Rangers in 10 innings.
Going to the ballpark could be a lesson in how Obama-Care will work: long lines to pee, long lines to buy over priced junk (nachos and pop $10.75 and no salsa or jalepenos), and no choice in vendors. And then the home team loses.
I am finished. Only one team, Duke, is in the Final Four.
I cannot add anymore points. My ranking is now at 207452 with a total of 64 points. The Horizon League has one team make it to the final four, Butler. They will have home court advantage as they are from Indiana.