Friday, July 20, 2012

The Forest for the Trees

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life - it goes on.
   ~~ Robert Frost

The meaning I picked, the one that changed my life.  Overcome fear, behold wonder.
   ~~ Richard Bach

I lived in Golden on the opposite metropolitan edge of Denver from Aurora when Alan Berg was gunned down in his driveway by members of a white hate group.  It was shocking at the time, yet not too far in time or place from Littleton and Columbine High School.

I woke with Tim one day in 2001 to watch the World Trade Towers crumble.

And in 2007 as we woke to prepare for a drive to Stanford for a battery of tests to see if Tim could pass muster for a lung transplant, we watched the unfolding news about Virginia Tech.  My niece was a freshman at the school, and it was several anxious hours before she was able to get through to family and let us know she was ok.  It is an indescribable feeling to not know.

Time stands still at times like these.  
Yet, if the past is prelude, there will be predictable aftershocks.  There will be debates about our nation's obsession with violence and guns, but candidates and legislators will take no action.  There will be people seeking their fifteen minutes on Nancy Grace and extended sensational coverage of a trial if one is held.  There will be much second guessing about parental failure of one sort or another and idle questions about why no one noticed odd behavior.  Flowers will be left at the scene.  And soon it will be forgotten...until the next time.

But tonight, I try to center myself, for once even indirectly touched you can't help but remember how fragile we all are, how random life's tragedies strike, and how difficult it can be to find the way to see the wonder again.  But how necessary it is to find that way.

Music for centering and reflection:  Claude Debussy, Clair de Lune
Photo of aspens in Colorado Rockies:  Carrolls