Firstly, my heartfelt condolences to the Cirillo family, The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Nathan’s friends, the Vincent family and Patrice’s friends and colleagues.
Even though I live in the “Nation’s Capital” and, conceptually, I know that this city could likely be a target for any person wishing to make a fanatical statement based upon that fact alone, I am, and I am not alone in this, shaken.
It is easy to get caught up in the media ~ both reported and social ~ and allow for that to represent my own thoughts and emotions with regard to October 22, 2014. After all, there is likely something that has already been reported, broadcast, spoken, tweeted, status’d or flickr’d which more acutely, and perhaps more accurately, speaks of how I feel. However, in this moment there is a need to express.
The largest part of the present void is due to the large bubble which has finally succumbed to reality and burst. That bubble was labeled “This happens THERE – not HERE”. Living, as I do, as neighbour to the States, I am somewhat desensitized to news of violent and radical activities; the front page of my choice for news feed often overridden with their concerns rather than ones closer to home. And much like other things that bring up emotions I’d rather not feel, or necessarily feel at the start of my day, I sublimate my own digestion of these events to gloss over or otherwise ignore issues which, thanks to my now-burst bubble, weren’t really concerns for me. Or at least that’s what happened before yesterday.
My doors suddenly feel more important to me. My windows, mandatory. My roof and walls, family. A beep in the distance is no longer just an alarm going off because someone bumped the car. Sirens no longer signal response crews to a fender bender. That “bang” in the night is no longer the garage door left open. The dog barking isn’t because he’s hungry.
At the same time, I realize and hear the words of others, including our leaders: “we will not be terrorized”. And while this isn’t quite rhetoric, there is no more realistic outcome for me except to adjust, however slightly, how safe I feel and how I conduct myself as consequence.
Thusly, I am shaken; for this is new territory. I wish to sleep at night while not giving terrorism or fanaticism merit.