At Twilight

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Location: Midwest, United States

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston Marathon

I’ve been crying, on and off, all evening. 

This afternoon, a twisted soul (or two or more, who knows?) detonated bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  As I type this, the casualty list is three dead (an 8-year old among them) and 113 injured.  Many grievously.

First, there was shock.  One would think we’d all be beyond shock at this point, given all the cruelties of the world we witness each day.  Even so, I was shocked.

And then my heart broke.

I was a runner once.  I trained long and hard for many years in order to, someday, run a marathon.  And I did, eventually.

But that’s just scratching the surface. 

There’s something about training one’s body to run 26.2 miles that goes far beyond physical exertion.  There’s that exploration of the mind, the heart and soul.  There are the hours upon hours and the miles upon miles spent questioning one’s abilities, all the time dreaming, contemplating, observing...suffering and fantasizing.

More often than not, fantasizing about running Boston someday.

There are marathons and then there are marathons.  Boston was the ONE.

Every sport has its ONE: golfers have their Masters.  Tennis players have their Wimbledon.  Football players have their Super Bowl, hockey players have their Stanley Cup and soccer players have their World Cup.  Athletes everywhere, regardless of their chosen sport, have the ONE.

For runners, it was always Boston.

It was always Boston because of its tradition.  It was always Boston because one had to qualify to even be granted the chance to run its fabled course. It was always Boston because the best of the best made it the ONE.

For runners, it was always Boston.  And even though I was a runner, once, I knew I’d never make it there.  Sure, it hurts to discover one’s limitations, but I learned a great deal as a runner.  And I came into the company of runners who could and did qualify for Boston.  And I came to love those runners because I was witness to their talent, their dedication, their love for the art of placing one foot in front of the other with grace and velocity.  As a runner, though artless as I was, I was part of a community overflowing with admirable souls.

And each year, on “Patriots’ Day” I cheered as people I had come to know, admire and love, gave Boston what they had.  Outcomes varied, as they always do, but I had come to know something about the heart it takes to even try and I admired them, envied them and loved them for their stalwart and intrepid hearts.

A great many hearts were broken today.

Something far more than just another foot race was defiled, bloodied, rendered a tragedy.

* * *

Saturday, April 13, 2013


Year after year

Decade after decade

Couldn’t remember dreams

I swear

Mind blank upon awakening

Something’s changed

I dream vividly


Wake hurting

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