Tuesday, April 16, 2013

We Are Boston

Yesterday I started a blog with all ideas of finishing it and publishing it today. It was a whiner - but somewhat funny. I was complaining about waiting at a doctor's office. Needless to say it got tabled. Whining is not appropriate while the nation mourns, again.

The first two years we were married, I spent more time in Boston than I did with my husband. I adore that city. The horror yesterday struck home because I spent so much time there, but doesn't it strike each of us? We realize the insanity of simply being someplace, and horror strikes at the whim of madmen. Then I realized that today is the anniversary of the Virginia Tech horror. Yesterday I wrote the following on our Facebook page:
Courage...cowardice...can any two words convey more difference? Our hearts go out to all affected by the tragic events today in Boston. We are grateful for the courage displayed by the first responders, and saddened by the cowardice causing this. 

As each of us do, I have concerns - a brother whom I adore is in the hospital. I have driving teenagers in high school - enough said there. I watch my father, once the smartest man I knew, struggle with where he is, and am I his daughter or his granddaughter - not the way I imagined the anti-aging cream to be working. Life isn't easy, but we seem to have forgotten that it isn't easy for any of us, and a little compassion towards one another, and their struggles, seen or unseen, is a sign of the humanity in each of us.

I, as so many others, do not understand how humanity has devolved into this. Why are the solutions found through violence? Have we miserably failed at teaching how to disagree peacefully?  Our pastor, Dr. Doug Cushing, taught an incredible series on this prayer. I try to remember this prayer - somehow there's always a line which hits home. I'm not always successful (remember the part about having teenagers...), but I try. Please indulge me, because the lessons contained within it are applicable whether you believe or not:

Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

To the first responders, to the ones there who simply did the right thing and helped - Thank you, and God bless. May we each have what is in your heart.  I do pray for the ones who did this evil act - because they need prayers, also. All of us are Boston, and Virginia Tech, and New York City, and the Pentagon, and Shanksville, PA...and please may the madness end.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Music Soothed the Savage Copier, While I Danced The Safety Dance.

Tuesday was one of those days, the good kind, where everything seemed to fall into place with an ease that rarely comes. Where I work, the caseloads are full and everyone is vigilantly plugging away to meet deadlines. For the most part we are a quiet group, staying in our offices (thank goodness not cubicles, but real offices, with real doors), and keeping the nose to the grindstone. It can be rewarding work, but I’d be such a liar if I said there were no days when work seemed like an endless escalator ride with no view; constantly moving with no real destination in sight.

I wish I could claim that the good day was all me, my attitude, my work ethic, or my vast and very OCD organizational skills. Nope, nada, not me. It was the iPod. I finally had my replacement iPod Classic, reloaded and synced, and the muses smiled. I popped in my ear buds first thing after slinging my purse into a file drawer. What to my ears should deliver but a huge swell of “Let’s Get It Started” by the Black Eyed Peas. In over a year’s time I don’t believe I’ve filed so vigorously or planned out the day’s work. Where the lyrics rang out “and running, running...” I actually felt my blood roar like an Olympiad readying to cross a finish line. It rocked!

I marched down to the all-powerful copier in the hall, the one that will work only if you stroke it and pay homage to its copying prowess. “Turn It On Again” from Genesis roared. Yep, I was cooking with gas, or at least with an Apple. While going over a difficult case and trying to figure what the heck I was supposed to do, “Keep Your Head Up” by Andy Grammer inspired. My Classic was giving me her all, even with only one ear bud tightly packed in. I have to have the other side out to make sure I hear the phone, the intercom, yadda, yadda, yadda. Who cares? It was working, and I was workin’ it right along with the music.

My step was lighter; my focus was sharp and all for the love of a gadget that twenty years ago I called a Walk-Man. Well, you get the drift, and speaking of that, The Drifters serenaded me with “Up on the Roof” at break time. The best one came on as I was shutting down for the day. Files were packed back in, pens aligned (I had a wonderful co-worker who used to come into my office just to talk, and she would slowly rearrange things on my desk as we chatted. It drove me crazy, she knew it, and still survived! Such is my OCD. Don’t mess with my office space.), and cases ready and compiled as Ray Charles told me in no uncertain terms to “Hit the Road, Jack,” which given that Jack is my son’s name had me moving out the door. 

I walked into our kitchen at home, looked at my small family and thought to myself, there they are, the reason I work, the reason it all works. I parked the iPod into the docking station and the real music begins, ‘cause there “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” to keep me from doing for those who rock me in a way that even music can’t…but I’ll keep the iPod close for the soundtrack to my life.