Tag Archives: Boston bombs

in which people who are not me run 26 miles

Happy Marathon Day!

As you may remember, some really terrible things happened in Boston around this time last year. But some really awesome things happened last year too. In fact, there were far more awesome things than bad things. Far more people being kind and heroic and brave than being cruel and cowardly.

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This time last year, after living in the city for almost eight months, this was the week I really fell in love with Boston, and I’ve been smitten ever since. In the wake of a tragedy, everything seemed really united and hopeful, and I felt very much a part of a coming together of different people inhabiting the same space, and through that coming together I fell in love with that space. I had a similar moment of intense Boston love while walking around my neighborhood this morning1. Everything was blue skies and sort of warm after being neither of those things for so long, and I thought, you couldn’t pry me out of this city with a crowbar.

I love Boston. It feels like home.

So let’s celebrate one year—hundreds of years really, but this one in particular—of being awesome and resilient and good and BOSTON STRONG2!

 

  1. On a quest for Diet Coke, because my regular place was closed and it is apparently really hard to find Diet Coke within walking distance of my apartment on marathon day.
  2. The phrase ‘Boston Strong’ has become so overused in the last year that it now can only be written or spoken in all caps. However, after a year of feeling it was worn out and cliché and laughing everytime someone used it, every time I’ve seen it this past week a small part of me has gone “Aw.” But that’s sentimentality for you.
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in which I meet the comfort dogs

Today I felt good.

Like actually good for the first time all week. Usually my happiness level on a scale of one to ten is about a seven, but ever since Monday, for pretty justifiable reasons, I’ve been sort of a four.

But then today, things got better.

The first reason for this was because of the Comfort Dogs.

The Comfort Dogs are a group of five golden retrievers that are trained to give emotional support to people who need it. Basically they just sit there, so calm you’d think they were sedated, and let you love them and pour all your emotional baggage into them. These dogs came down from their usual job at Sandy Hook Elementary to give their love to the city of Boston.

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I sat on the pavement outside the First Lutheran Church with the dogs for about an hour, talking to other people who were feeling down and needed a lift via these canine companions. And it felt good. It made me happy, both the people and the dogs. Dogs always make me happy, but these guys were particularly helpful to me at this time1.

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After leaving the Comfort Dogs2, I walked around the Public Garden. It was kind of a beautiful day today, and I thought it would be nice to walk through on my way to school.

When I walked into the Public Garden, the first thing I saw was this beautiful view of the Boston skyline, brownstones surrounding skyscrapers and the gold dome of the statehouse shining in the sun. Then there was the pond, with the swan boats gliding serenely across it and the weeping willows waving in the breeze. The trees were blooming pink, people were everywhere, happy and laughing, and George Washington was sitting atop his horse, watching over it all3. And the new-blooming flowerbeds were lined with messages from people to each other. From Boston to Boston, messages of peace and love and support.

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And it was all so beautiful, it was overwhelming. I just stood there and cried behind my sunglasses for a minute4. And this song I learned in Primary kept running through my head—“I Think the World is Glorious.”

Really terrible things happened this week, but out of it has come so many beautiful things, and so many examples of how wonderful, wonderful people really can be. Light drives out the darkness, bad brings out the best in us, and life always finds a way to continue doing the only thing it can: living.

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And no matter what happens, I think the world is glorious, and nothing can ever make me believe that that’s a lie.

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  1. Also, the dogs all have their own facebook and twitters. Which makes the social media geek in me really happy.
  2. Also the name of the gourmet hot dog truck I am someday going to start.
  3. He’s a statue. In case that wasn’t clear.
  4. It should be noted I am not an emotional person. It was just a moment of transitory peace in the midst of a turbulent week.
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on the Boston bombings

I’ll keep this quick, because I don’t have much to say on this subject, and I know there are a lot of other people who do.

First of all, thanks everyone for your messages and calls yesterday. I’m safe and fine. I was in my apartment when the bombs went off in Copley Square. For the first time in my life, I was grateful that too much homework kept me indoors. I know people who ran in the race and people who were at the finish line when the bombs went off, but they are all safe.

Second of all, I want to add my sentiment to everyone else who has been saying that Boston is a tough city that is going to rise above this. One person set off a bomb yesterday, but there were hundreds of people who rushed to help those who were injured. And 1 to 100 ain’t bad odds.

Third of all, this is the first time in my life I’ve been this close to a tragedy of this scope. My apartment’s about two miles away from Copley Square. I walk through there all the time to go to the Boston Public Library. I get my hair cut a block away. I’ve eaten at restaurants that now have their windows blown out. I stood in line on that street where the bomb went off to see Buddy Wakefield perform a few weeks ago. But for me, the most lasting impact and the saddest thing is that this incident stole our feeling of safety in our own city.

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When I was a junior in high school, there was a shooting at Trolley Square, a shopping center near my home in Salt Lake. I love Trolley Square, and I’ve been there many times since the shooting, but every time I go, even years later, it’s still the first thing I think of when I’m there, and it makes me a little uneasy. I hate that one person and one senseless act of violence was able to steal that feeling of safety from me, so that even walking around a shopping mall makes me nervous. We saw the same thing happen this past summer in Aurora, Colorado, and this winter in Newtown, Connecticut. Beyond the direct victims, the entire country was robbed of feeling safe in their movie theaters and schools, and that to me is so tragic.

And now my entire city feels like it is walking on eggshells. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little jumpy getting on the train today. But here I am at school, and tomorrow I’ll go to work, and my week will proceed just the same as it would have if the bombings hadn’t happened. Everything there is to know about life can be summed up in three words: it goes on. And Boston will go on too.

Because Boston is freaking awesome.

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