This is the thing to bomb. This is the beginning—from "I" to "we." If you who own the things people must have could understand this, you might preserve yourself. If you could separate causes from results, if you could know that Paine, Marx, Jefferson, Lenin were results, not causes, you might survive. But that you cannot know. For the quality of owning freezes you forever into "I," and cuts you off forever from the "we."
--John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath



[Michael's] personal account of who initiated the physical encounter is forever lost to the grave, but the initiation is likely to be the central question in the case.

To believe [Wilson's] scenario, you have to believe that [Michael], an unarmed boy, chose that man to attack. You have to believe that [Michael] chose to attack a man who was wearing his gun in a holster. You have to believe that [Michael] chose to attack even though he was less than a hundred yards from the safety of the home where he was staying.

This is possible, but hardly sounds plausible.

The key is to determine who was standing his ground and defending himself: the boy with the [cigarillos] or the man with the gun. Who was winning the fight is a secondary question

That said, we’ll have to wait for details of the investigation to be revealed to know for sure. But while we wait, it is important to not let [Michael] the person be lost to [Michael] the symbol. He was a real boy with a real family that really loved him.

--Modified slightly from "A Mother's Grace and Grieving," written for the New York Times by Charles Blow on March 25, 2012, about Trayvon Martin's death at the hands of George Zimmerman. 


In my Lucia's absence
Life hangs upon me, and becomes a burden; 
I am ten times undone, while hope, and fear,
And grief, and rage and love rise up at once.
And with variety of pain distract me.
--Joseph Addison



I'm going to try to write this post without reverting to the words that describe my mood best right now--maudlin, morose, mournful, mad. All of those wonderfully descriptive M words. Maudlin, in particular. But, who am I kidding?

Last Tuesday night, I lost my best friend. And I've wept more in the past month than I probably have in years, because we all knew it was coming. I've thought a lot about that, recently--whether it's better to know that the death of a loved one is coming, like Kara's, or for it to take you by complete surprise, like a Mack truck ran into you, as it was with my brother's accidental death 13 years ago. And although they're both terrible in their own ways, I guess I've decided that an anticipatory death beats out a sudden one, just barely. Because at least you get the chance to say goodbye.

I won't rehash the beginnings of my and Kara's friendship. If you really want to know, you can read about it here. I guess just suffice it to say that, for now at least, I feel completely bereft. (Even though she's playing our song as I type this--every little thing's gonna be alright.)


Conversations with an Eight-Year-Old, Volume 2

E: Mom, did you get a haircut?
Me: Yep.
E: You look weird.

Eight-year-olds--a never-ending confidence booster.