Good pace

Today was the first legitimate day of spring. No tights, no boots, no coat.

I’m back in Boston, as I am every week now. Trudging toward finals, and grumbling at the undergrads who I haven’t seen all year who are basking their (overwhelming majority) translucent legs on the quad. Topsiders, coral shorts and all.

Two years ago I was staring out my window at melting snow, vacillating between driving immediately to Copley or encouraging my friends to get up north. As the days, the lockdowns, the uncertainty drug on, I felt like a piece of me was getting torn apart.

From where we sit now, we still don’t have answers. We may have a conviction, but we don’t have understanding.

I want you to know that tonight my voice is still sore from shouting for four hours at mile 23:

“you got this” and “you can do it” and

“we believe in you” and “bring it home” and “keep going,”

and I want you to know that that is exactly what I plan to keep saying, over and over again, to this weary, hurting city. [more]

We’re struggling to find out who we are – an admittedly unique question so often robbed from victims in this age of secretive terrorism prosecution, relocation of trials, and, in fact, a choice taken away from almost every victim/survivor. The right to decide what to do with such harm. With actions that defy our very orientation in the world.

Just before the bombing I left my job in victim rights to move to the woods. To explore and understand myself, my vocation, my love, my future.

The violence that ripped through the city made me question everything. Now, I find myself in a unique, somewhat double life – half rural, half urban; half academic, half professional; half Boston, half Maine.

Yet each time I crest over 93, get that view of the city, I remember I wouldn’t have it any other way, and I hear my wise friend’s words:

My friends and I cheered for thousands yesterday at Mile 23. Then some really horrifying shit happened. It doesn’t change what we said yesterday—

“Go!”

“Don’t Give Up!”

“We believe in you!”

“Good pace!”