There were lilacs at the table where I worked on my novel this morning, which made the day smell like home — although back in Nebraska, the lilacs don’t start blooming until the end of April or May. (I couldn’t quite remember that and had to look it up; that’s how spoiled I’ve gotten by California and their green-wet winters and January-blooming daffodils and year-round gardens.)
I’m deep in morning sunshine, I’m listening to the kids shouting during gym class at the playground a block or so away, I’m watching the dog try and climb the fence after the squirrels. I’m trying to figure out why it matters for me to sit at this keyboard when there’s a garden to tend and a dog to throw the ball for, friends I need to call, muscles to stretch, grass to feel beneath my toes — I mean, when there’s real and embodied life to live, why am I here sitting in front of a screen, giving myself carpal tunnel (knock wood)?
I don’t want to write about Boston yet, so I go online and read a news story about yesterday’s bombings. I look at the map, red starbursts marking the sites where the IEDs exploded on Boylston Street. I haven’t been to that neighborhood for years, not since my last Boston Pride. I think about what it’s like when throngs of people are gathered in one place, and how terrifying it would be to have those masses suddenly panicking in fear for their own and their loved ones’ lives. I think about Martin Richard, an 8 year-old boy, and the other two people who died as a result of the explosions, and the over 170 people injured (many of whom lost limbs). I think about the trauma that everyone at the Marathon experienced, and how their lives are changed forever. Continue reading