Monday, April 15, 2013

Grief in Boston

Dusk settling on a city still in shock, as I walk home. Red and blue lights twinkle all around. Everywhere a strange hush has settled in. In the background of the quiet is the distant drone of helicopters hovering.

The feeling of the city is subdued. Conversations are hushed as though attending a wake.

In the park, spring beckons. Yet, we don’t notice the rebirth. Our minds are on the transience of life: in one moment we are here and filled with life. In a moment, we – any of us – could be gone. We are aware of that only a very thin portal separates life and death, and how easy one could pass.  And how in one blast, that portal is opened.

Today, we see again how evil work, how it embraces the specter of the netherworld.  How it consumes life.  This day, when the marathon runners remembered the horror of Newtowne and the children who were taken at too young, this day will itself come to be a memorial day.

We don’t know the how or the why of today.  But, in the end, does it even matter?  There is no “why” that is a good “why.”  There can be no good "why."  Whatever the "why" is, it can only be bad.

Once again, we all stand united. Our hearts reach out for each other. Our friends and family and colleagues and even strangers are glad we are fine. In the octave of grief, we always stand together for a while, though, in time, our politics and differences will become that wedget that so easily divides us.

We have no answers. We only have faith and prayer.

So, as I have done so many days, I go home, passing through a Public Garden about to burst into spring. But, today, even nature is restrained. All around is quiet. 

I walk in the eerie silence of the dusk, on this day when the portal of death was opened this afternoon, just a few short blocks away.