Cardinal April 19

This week our television flashed image after image of chaos, pain, and loss. I don’t have a personal connection to any of the Boston Marathon bomb victims, nor any of the Texas fertilizer plant explosion victims, and yet my shock and grief feel personal. More and more personal as time passes, as scenes of blood and smoke and flames give way to achingly poignant details about the dead and wounded.

Cardinal April 19

Desperate to escape my growing sense of helplessness, I turn off the television and retreat into the yard, where I find a foraging cardinal, a pollen-dusted bee, and a pair of brave grackles. A hungry tufted titmouse, a half-grown rabbit, and a sleepy squirrel. They remind me that my journey is simultaneously important and insignificant, that I am both connected to and separate from the world. And their company feels like a glimpse of solace, a brief visitation of peace during a week defined by turmoil.

Cardinal April 19

Bee April 18

Birds April 14

Tufted Titmouse April 19

Rabbit April 20

Squirrel April 19

Local News

Navy jets are a fixture in the yard. Their roar punctuates life in Virginia Beach, which is home to Naval Air Station Oceana.

Today, one of the jets crashed. A fiery crash involving apartment buildings. I keep turning the news on, then turning the news off.

I don’t know this instinct, can’t name the impulse that forces me to look and look away and look again. It’s a sour, hollow place in my chest. Cold hands and burning eyes and a restless path from kitchen to television to yard to office to kitchen. It’s a dark weight in my mind, an unfocused pall of helplessness.

For lack of a better word, it’s grief. But why? The accident doesn’t belong to me. And yet I feel an urge to own it, to fold it into my life alongside all the other things that don’t belong to me but touch me anyway.