It’s late, and I’m tired, and when you read this, it will be your today, and my yesterday. Where I live is nearly the last time zone, so in my world, it’s still tonight and it’s been one heck of a whiplash kind of day.
It started out as routine, wakey-wakey and the requisite cuppa cuppa; off to shower, pack a lunch, kiss my kiddo and send him off to school. While – as my mom always said – I was putting on my face; I hear the morning news show telling a story about a woman who nearly died from a seizure, only be saved by a complete stranger – an infamous umpire known for making a bad call – who administered CPR just in time, to the tune and beat of the song ‘Staying Alive’. That made an impression on me and I left the house uplifted, a bit more faith in human kind, and with a song stuck in my head.
Once at work, my day started with a memorial tree planting service for my boss who passed away suddently and unexpectedly last May; modern medicine should have saved him. This man was beloved, honest, loyal, hard-working and a wonderful human being. I reported to him for many years and have enjoyed not only his support of me professionally; he embraced both my creativity and my competence, and perhaps even more importantly, he supported me as a full-time working parent. His generosity has allowed me an excellent work-life balance as I juggle working and momming. His own children will grow up in the shadow of his memory and ironically will not have the time to fully know the man I was lucky enough to know. This makes my heart ache for loss felt on so many levels – he was truly one of the good guys.
Bureaucracy filled the middlest part of the day; slugging through emails, phone calls, paperwork and signatures as I made my way towards quittin’ time. It’s Friday, and I had the prize of plans to meet up with the gals for dinner and drinks and a unique outing. We all work out together three times a week, boot-camp high intensity workouts with our trainer. He pushes us, just hard enough, but not beyond what he knows we are capable of; he knows we will give it our all, that we want what we come for and in turn, he works hard to create workouts that are fun, challenging and just crazy enought to keep our eyes off the clock. He’s a boxer, a fighter, and tonight was his big fight. Much as I wanted to, it was impossible to turn down his request to come out and support him; I cannot wrap my head around, nor reconcile, the paradox of this so called sport. Focus, fitness, discipline, conditioning. Violent.
It just doesn’t have a spot in my psyche; it felt surreal to be in the midst of that environment. The overabundance of testosterone made me uneasy; I kept one eyed fixed on the nearest exit. The ‘warm-up’ fights were one thing, I could look away, or look on with an analytical eye and I suppose I tried to detach in a way. One of the guys in the ring looked not a day over 18 and it was really all too much for me, tears sprang to my eyes when I peeled my hands off my eyes, and let in a crack of emotion. That was a boy, just a boy, engaged in a sport whose sole purpose is to inflict harm upon another. But when it was someone I knew in that ring, it really became too much. I found myself watching his girlfriend more than him, watching with wide-eyed sadness the family with two young boys sitting in front of me absorbing all this as ‘normal’; I was overwhelmed by the crowd cheering on the physicality of it all.
I sat there trying to absorb it all, realizing that I just can’t. I sat there wishing that our world did not tolerate such violence. Last night my son asked me, “why do they have to have wars for independence?” When I shook my head, indicating that I agreed with his question, but had no real good answer for him, his response was another question: ask “why can’t they just play a card game to settle it?” God, I love that boy, and all I could think was how glad I was that he was home where he should be.
My day began with a story about a life nearly lost but saved, then punctuated with celebrating a life that should have been saved but was lost, and ended with a room full of people that I think should be cheering for the life they have but instead were cheering for the pummeling of life. My head is spinning; I am going to sing “Staying Alive’ as I head to bed.
Sweet dreams all.