It's easy to live in a caccoon - in fact, I think most people do. We talk to family and friends, we listen to the news we like, read the papers we like and don't get outside our comfort zone very often. Sometimes I think my comfort zone is wider than that of some although that probably only means I am more interested in more ideas and places than most people I know. But, I have my own strong opinions and prefer to talk to people who mostly have the same political orientation.
So I do not delve into opinions about the Boston marathon bombing much but I'm a little shocked that the subject has come up seldom in the last few days. A friend attuned to international terrorism told me rather early on he thinks this was a domestic event, a disgruntled or "crazy" person. He had good reasons to say that and more or less convinced me. I've just heard of another kind of "crazy" group who say the whole thing was done by our government as was the fertilizer plant explosion. I cannot imagine what twisted logic would make anyone think such a thing. I would criticize the government for various reasons (like the current gun legislation fiasco) but such anti-government sentiment appalls me.
My own reaction was to decide to read a poem I wrote over four years ago about the New York City marathon which I was always acutely aware of because I frequently saw individuals and teams training. To me people running for the joy of running has an archetypical sense -- didn't we all do that as children, just to see how fast we could go? I read the poem in my poetry class this week although I'd written a cheery one about the coming of spring. I was the only person, among over 20 contemporaries who had been moved enough by the bombing to address the subject - that surprised me. They are all sensitive, thoughtful people, but living in their own caccoons.
By the thousands
Through the canyons
Over the bridges
Through the park.
News cameras took down from helicopters.
People look out tall windows
Lean over high balconies
Line the crowded streets.
Like the bison once ran over the Badlands
The wildebeast still run through the savannahs
Fabled lemmings run over cliff into the eas
Heroes ran the mountains in ancient Attica.
As they run
Many thousand feet pound softly
Their breathing is a mass sigh in a city
Accustomed to sirens' screams.
The crowds' cheers drift softly to the sky
Newscasters' chatter circles the globe.
They have been running
Alone or in packs or two or three or a few
for months, years. They leave
behind home, wife, husband, children.
Silece is enough for many,
So search for "the zone."
To win, or beat a record, or follow heroes.
To prove something, "because it's there,"
"To do it once."
To be, this one day, lost in the herd,
Part of something big and beautiful,
Massive and magnificent.
Who trained an paid and stayed the course.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!