If I had to pick my happiest places on Earth, in my top 10 would be stage left, about 10 yards back at at music festival and a running trail. Both bring me a euphoric enjoyment of life and internal balance. Both have been desecrated by deadly violence in the last month, and while my heart hurts for our world in so much pain, I won't be a victim. I will keep dancing. I will keep running. SLL will be my choice.
Yesterday NYC, and our American way of life, were marred by another terrorist attack. This time, it wasn't a bomb leveling a building, but a man in a truck mowing down as many people as he could on a running trail. When I heard the news, I was at my desk in downtown San Francisco. As a city girl, running trails are my beautiful escape from the noise. During my early 20s, in the many miles logged along the Town Lake Trails in Austin, Texas I discovered an internal cadence. Losing the preoccupations of my physical body in the consistent rhythm, I found, in the vast space of a quieted mind, the room to listen to my inner self. Now, along the trail at Crissy Field or among the Presidio trees, I seek the same respite. To know such a sacred space is now a target leveled me too.
And I'll admit - in writing this piece, I had to look up when the Las Vegas music festival shooting occurred. It's shameful that the date America suffered it's deadliest mass shooting isn't ingrained into my brain, and yet that speaks to the volume of violence and suffering permeating our everyday. In fact it was exactly a month ago when that lone gunman opened fire on a concert going crowd, killing 58 and injuring 548 more, but it already feels so long ago. Because things JUST. KEEP. HAPPENING. And yet I know, for everyone directly affected, their world stopped spinning on its same axis that day, and life won't ever feel the same. Grief has it's own gravity.
But, it's 5:29 am on November 1st. I'm in a soft sweatshirt, nestled under a throw on my couch, watching the sky change black to purple over the Golden Gate Bridge. My cat just walked across the keyboard (punk). My coffee has gotten too cold to sip. I'm about to watch the man of my heart stumble sleepily from our bedroom and into the shower, so we can walk together down the street to his gym and begin our day.
What a beautiful gift: this life, this body, this breath. I refuse to see terrorism as a victimization; instead, I'll see it as a reminder that the mundane is magical.
Love and light to the families of those lost but never forgotten.
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