I don't have the right words for what happened on Monday. As a transplant to this amazing little city I still feel like I'm not a true Bostonian although I came here - wow - 14 years ago. But the bombing that hurt so many people and shook the whole region, feels like a personal affront.
I've heard a lot of people talking about feelings of numbness or "rawness" and I think I understand that but more than anything, the feeling that weighed on me (and is just now starting to break up and dissipate) is overwhelming sadness. I am sad for those killed, for those hurt, for those who witnessed this event. I'm also sad for the runners who were so close to completeing something really important and exciting to them - a marathon! - who were suddenly stopped and prevented from accomplishing their goal because of a terrible, selfish choice that someone else made.
One of the most devastating things I can imagine (and luckily only imagine) is physically hurting someone. The fact that anyone would go out of their way to do so is so strange and confusing to me. I'm still working on processing how people can be so unfeeling - they must be, right? I feel like I feel all the feelings of everyone around me but to have a total lack of compassion and heart is something I can't grasp.
This short article helps a little. And the following passage is especially important:
A study published in January in the journal Molecular Psychology found that when doctors see their patients in pain, the pain-processing regions in their own brains activate.I've always been sensitive. My mother told me I have a soft heart. When someone talks to me about a physically painful experience I get shooting pains in my legs. I always have. My mom gets them too. It doesn't happen when I see someone hurt - in that case my heart hurts - but just when I hear about it - that's all it takes.
Why doesn't this happen to everyone? If we could all feel the pain of others (physical or emotional) I think the world would be a much quieter, safer place.
I hope the 2013 Marathon bombing does change us all just a little. I don't want anyone to have to feel more guarded or frightened or like revenge is the only option. I just want everyone to feel compassion and empathy for those around them. The news is focusing a lot on the people who ran in to help and I'm so thankful for that. I think Boston is seen as a little cranky but I truly believe that the majority of people here (and everywhere) are really nice, good people. I feel very lucky to live here.
I came here for school and never, ever thought I would stay. But I blinked and it's been over a decade. I have made incredible friends, met the man I'm going to marry, made numerous cozy happy homes, had my fair share of rough days and heartache, learned this town inside out, found my feet as an artist and all within a very small footprint. I have been living in and around Boston since 1999 and I don't plan on leaving any time soon.
I hope that you and everyone you know is safe and well.
(I didn't realize I had taken quite so many postcard-perfect photos of my adopted city until searching my archives for this post. Man, Boston's a looker, huh? Very pretty.)