Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Premonitions

Oppressive waves crash on shoulders, pushing them down into an already roiling stomach. Small explosions follow each tears descent from pools ringing crimson eyes. The barren desk, spread out before me, enforces the solitude of my heart, as bile burns caustic fumes with each breath.

Something is wrong. I don't know what. I need to go home and figure it out.

Cold air washes out of the air condition vents, my pores soak drink deeply it's cooling embrace. Released from work, my vacant stare surveys the black expanse of the parking lot, searching for answers to questions I don't know to ask. Absent fingers find the radio, to drive away the silence.

There has been a shooting in Blacksburg this morning, on the campus of Virginia Tech. We are awaiting the details...

Clangering vibrations of the phone break my meditation, words trickle out giving clarity to my inner turmoil. A direction, a purpose, pulls me down the highway toward flashing lights and shell shocked wanderers. Under trees, sitting on curbs, crying with candles littering the drill field; we find them. Offering pizza, an ear, a shoulder, a hug.

Why are you here? Because I am supposed to be.

Peace and strength return, amid the surreality of life. The next several days after the attack, strangers and survivors walk down sidewalks between the lamp posts. Sitting on the drill field, around a guitar, we sing, not knowing what else to do. Just being, together, as we face tomorrow.

Was it their pain that drew me here before I even knew that morning in April?

Disaster has a way of bringing out the compassion in all of us, awakening in our hearts a love for our fellow man. A mosaic of people, helping people. Why wait for the next one?

21 comments:

ds said...

Very interesting; that was a scary, scary time. Thank you for the kind words you left at my blog. I'll be back.

Nancy said...

Great post, Brian. I do think we are wired into our fellow human's pain somehow. We feel bad, we just don't know why, and then we turn on the news.

Ronda Laveen said...

I am always amazed by the power that draws us together in the wake of beings leaving the planet. It makes those of us remaining realize we are all on the same team.

otin said...

Even if it is only at times of disaster, at least we have the ability to come together, it is like that relative that you never visit, but still love dearly. You tend to not visit them because you know that they are there and doing ok!

Beth said...

Well said. I need to go do something nice for someone now.

Rain said...

It's true that disaster and tragedy seems to bring out the best (and worst) in people...it's sad that most people wait for it before they feel grateful for what they have. Why wait for someone to lose their loved ones or their home to show them decency and compassion? It's beyond me.
:-I

Daniel said...

Things that can pull some folks in can also repel other folks away. Some can handle the scene, other can't. Some feel that if they don't know what to say, better to say nothing at all. Avoid contact. Avoid awkwardness. Perhaps though, this marks cowardice and shirking away from our true responsibility.

willow said...

Premonitions or synchronicities, it's fascinating how we are drawn to be certain places at certain times to be of help.

jake (to the) holla said...

great post, and so true... why wait, when we have opportunities daily to express simple human warmth & care to those we encounter?

BeautifulWreck said...

Amen and well said.

Candie Bracci said...

Beautiful Brian!yes those things happen!It happens to me too.You were supposed to be there.But not only tragedy brings people togther,music too!Let's look at the positive side,shall we?:)

Lorraine said...

Can anything be more frightening for a parent...and yes tragedy brings people together like nothing else...kindness sometimes too, but people forget how important a simple act of friendliness or a smile is to the overall wellbeing...well you made people think and because of that, there' ll be more awareness today. That is a wonderful thing to have done :)

Michael Rawluk said...

Great tragedy seems to bring a need to seek comfort in the company of many. The one thing that makes us interact with strangers.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

One thing that I've noticed since Michigan's economic crisis started (some 6 or 7 years ago, now) is that people have banded together in a way that they didn't during economic boon times.

It would be nice if we could draw together when there wasn't a "reason".

Shrinky said...

There is solace knowing we have the compassion to feel the pain of others. I draw strength in the knowledge that there are far more caring people in the world than there are evil doers. A sad, but inspiring post, well written, as ever.

Brian Miller said...

@ds - it was a scary time for a lot of people. I'll be back to visit soon.

@nancy - too true. have felt it several times in my short life. thanks for the inspiration for this post.

@ronda - the illustration of a relative is amazing. wish i would have thought of it. we can often assume peple are fine when we don't see them or when their pain is not readily apparent.

@rain - somber true words...life is too short.

@daniel - some scenes i would not wish upon any man, but i think in each of us is a seed of love just waiting for the right moment.

@willow - too true. was brought back to this by Nancy (above) post along similar lies.

@jake - we just need to embrace them.

@ beautiful - ty. smiles.

@candie - oh yes. music definitely drives a connection. as with your post today. still hearing the music. smiles. veeering to the positive side now...

@lorraine - thanks for the kind words...i tend to veer toward the shocking at times. between your words and candie's swinging back to the light.

@michael - true, me thinks we need to create more opportunities beyond it though.

@jen - i think in these financial times that is a great thing. many times adversity forces adjustments, amny times for hte good. community is a beautiful thing.

@shrinky - ty for oyur words. I think there is a lot more good than eveil, it just does not get the same press. maybe if we shine our light a little brighter?

Colette Amelia said...

My Goodness you have lived through the worst of times Brian. All those terrible things that have happened that we only experience through the news in shocked horror and then at our far distance of safety we too feel the aftermath...the stress of humanity gone mad.

Please be careful in your meanderings through life. Protect your self...physically and emotionally...a person can only take so much.

Baino said...

It's true, disasters tend to bring out the best in people but it's oh so short lived. What a shame we can't perpetuate that moment of support and shared emotion.

Carletta said...

This brought back so many memories I thought were gone.
My son is a Virginia Tech grad and while he wasn't there at the time I was overcome at what other parents were going through while giving thanks my own son was safe.

I too wish compassion came easier for us all.

Mrsupole said...

You know I have those premonitions too and why do we have them while others do not. No one knows, but it is good that you can be there for comfort, but then who will comfort you when those memories overwhelm you. I hope that by writing about it, this helps to ease the memories that you carry in your heart. It is always best to share them instead of keeping them deep down in the inner recesses of hidden cavities where their storage occurs.

Everything happens for a reason, be it for us to learn or renew. They were very blessed to have you there and you were blessed to be there.

God bless people like you.

GTR said...
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