So I started and stopped about ten posts over the last week. First let me say that everyone I knew running the Boston Marathon or who lives in that beautiful city are totally safe and sound. I am very, very lucky. As details emerged from the bombing I found myself completely glued to my computer. The TV news stations appeared too slow for me. I refreshed my Twitter feed like a madwoman for days on end. I was sucked into the information black hole that is the Internet. I read article after article -- witness account after witness account. I watched the surveillance video so many times I lost count. You could say I was a bit obsessed.
What I found so fascinating was how quickly information -- and misinformation (ahem CNN) went viral. A bunch of folks I follow on Twitter were listening and live tweeting via the Boston police scanner. Friday evening I found myself on line in front of Howard Stern at the Whole Foods on 57th with my sister. Here we were buying pounds of cheese and dips for my brother-in-law's surprise 30th birthday party the next day and every few moments I was refreshing my Twitter. Life was continuing to happen, yet I was so distracted that entire evening flew by like a moment.
I was frustrated that I felt a tinge of fear when I stepped onto a MTA bus last Tuesday morning. I saw a backpack that looked abandoned and my stomach dropped. I hate that. It made me feel as though those two misguided brothers had won. Feeling safe and normal and going about my life should have been the best defense -- I just couldn't shake this uneasy, sick-to-my-stomach feeling. Every time I heard of another amputee making it out of surgery I would cry. On the street, in my office, on my couch at home -- it didn't matter. Normalcy. That's all I was looking for. Watching tanks roll through Watertown was horrifying, but also made me realize there are so many countries who live like that every single day. War-ravaged areas that the 24-hour news channels have long abandoned. What will come of those people? The frustration is almost too much. I almost feel guilty that I live here. Yes, we've had some awful stuff happen in the last fifteen or so years. Yes, we have stellar first responders and I find comfort in that. When I watched the footage of the bombs going off I noticed all the people running towards to smoke. Literally into the flames and smoke and blood to help people. How amazing is that? Those people are my heroes. Instead of frustration I decided to focus on what I can control. I can be helpful and unafraid -- and that's exactly what I'm going to do.
So on Friday night, well after my midnight baking adventures were complete and the second and seemingly final suspect was in custody, I fell into the first deep sleep of the week. I woke up Saturday morning feeling relieved and proud. I was ready for a new week.
This weekend was the perfect "exhale" after such a tense week. We surprised my brother-in-law with a trip to the North Fork for a day of wine tasting with all his closest friends. We drank wine. We laughed. A lot. We huddled together all completely under-dressed for the chilly weather -- and most importantly we celebrated. As an old boss once said to me, "there is so much shit in this world, you celebrate the good stuff with all you got." A poet he was not, but I must say that is exactly how I felt. Yesterday I spent the day basically park hopping instead of bar hopping. I sat with one of my best friends on several sunny benches listening to music, people watching, sipping my iced coffee, and just breathing.
So here's to a new week, filled with laughter...and normalcy. Cheers!