Intersections Named Flood
|Camera:||Canon PowerShot SD850 IS|
Media death came this week. TV Journalist, Tim Russert. His sudden death at 58 years old (heart attack) became a televised Irish wake in our living rooms with the body in the parlor. Yes, I remember those days and this is why a media death (someone I’ve never met and know only on TV) became a personal loss, dredging heart’s unsettling memories.
Also this week, floods. Big, historic waters came to the heartland of the US and deaths more private, less discussed, but marked with the same pain and shock came as well to all corners of the world: deaths from bullet wounds, disease, improvised explosive devices, car accidents, drownings, suspicious fires, suicide bombers, loneliness and deaths by someone’s own despairing hand.
In those moments when we get the call, listen to the words, stand by the side of the road or the edge of the drowning pool, or read the note left behind to explain the despair, we shrink in size, our instinct, our animal impulse is to flee, to disappear, to blur into the background.
But, we don’t move. Our feet shoot like arrows into the dark earth. We think we are anchored but we are not. We hold on to the phone, to the ground we stand on, to the river’s edge, to the suicide note with death’s grip itself, and we close our eyes tight shut to the oncoming churning waters. We begin to roll, tumble, end over end, reaching out to hold on to something.
Finding nothing. Finding no one. We force our eyes open under the crushing flood waters.
We look for shore and failing that, we simply begin.
©Pat Coakley 2008
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