Oh, sweet Boston, you did not deserve this. We are all aching for you this week.
I feel like we as a nation just can’t take any more random violence like this. We’re still brokenhearted over Sandy Hook. On a local level for me, just last week there were 14 stabbings at the community college where a friend of mine teaches in Houston (Lone Star Community College, Cy-Fair campus). The Onion said it best after the Sandy Hook killings: “Fuck Everything, Nation Reports.”
Indeed, it is tempting to throw up your hands in despair after someone decides to set off bombs during the Boston Marathon. Our beloved Boston Marathon. Like my friend JD wrote so beautifully, “All runners know Boston. Every race that I and many others have run is Boston, the same triumphs, the same disappointments. I have run Boston, we all have run Boston.” Boston is ours, a jewel of a race in the running community, a shining goal set in a shining city. We love Boston, the city and the marathon. To see it attacked so viciously is hard to fathom—I feel like words don’t capture the disbelief that has settled over me.
When we sign up for a race, we worry about a lot of things. We worry about whether we’ll be strong enough to finish. We worry about hydration and fuel. We worry about bathrooms and bowel movements. We hope our ankles and knees will be happy, that we’ll feel light on our feet and inspired to run with (or against) the wind. We worry about the weather. We worry about getting to the race on time. We worry about all these things. But until now, at least for me, we have never worried about whether there will be a deadly attack during the race. I don’t worry about my physical safety in the most basic of terms. Perhaps I am naïve, or maybe I can’t quite internalize the idea that I live in a world filled with random violence. I don’t know. But my heart aches for Boston, for those who lost their lives and all the injured people, for the families and those who witnessed the carnage firsthand. I know life goes on for those of us who are here to live it, but this week, we grieve with and for you, Boston.
May we all find the strength to move forward with dignity and grace.