Friday, September 28, 2012

What awaits in the desert

Another day in the valley (of the shadow…). Our little French bulldog just over a year goes “under the knife” for a likely ingested tennis ball fragment. My grandsons’ great-grandmother passed away last night and the boys came to school and school Mass was “perfect.” But their other grandmother, not my wife, is still dealing with the effects of major surgery and chemotherapy for her own battle with cancer. We celebrate “Our Lady of Fatima” formally this weekend. I doubt that one percent of anyone connected with the “celebration” have any clue how serious the apparitions she made still remain. But I pray that all the prep and good will (thousands are fed freely) will not only benefit our school fiscally, but somehow touch souls desperately in need of some sign of hope that, indeed, all will be well. Or, in the interim, this, too, shall pass. Between the school Mass this morning, a true occasion of God’s grace and power through our children, and going back to the school for the final Rosary “pilgrimage” rehearsal, I happened to tune into Fox News’ ‘Studio B with Shepard Smith” broadcast. -Some people think Smith is some sort of faux or pod person “antebellum” talking head. I don’t share that view. He’s pretty much like me, though younger. He’s simply interested in reporting what comes across his media “desk.” And he freely admits to having certain “Jone’s” of news preferences; like the hijacking and car chase that occurred in downtown Phoenix today. I would imagine Shepard was somewhat of age when, on the occasion of our 25th anniversary Wendy and I managed to enjoy and celebrate that milestone whilst the infamous O.J. Simpson chase was broadcast live. Just one surreal day after another, apparently since then. But the fascination with car chases that is as unavoidable as rubber-necking any traffic mishap has taken on great magnification since O.J. But this is about a car chase. This is about the tragedy of yet another soul whose name won’t even register as much Q as Trayvon Martin or the name of the Aurora theatre shooter. Do you remember his name? It was in the news cycle briefly today. Holmes. And another “guy” just shot up five people in the Twin Cities less than 24 ago. No one will even “get” his name, save the surviving families, because the body count is now, “low.” Back to our car-jacking guy. He maxes out on the 10, unhindered apparently by AHP, and goes off the grid save for the helo’s and ends up on dirt roads, non-threatening surface roads, until finally he ends up on some desert (think also about deserted) road. Probably out of gas like Shepard predicted. He get out of the “low class” Dodge Calibre he jacked, does a little duck and roll, cover and rebound and then runs, as if on script, to some coverlet of brush, back to the helo cameras, and puts one squarely above his right ear. There’s an interminable interval of time, you can’t even fake it like in movies, until his body reacts and falls forward into the grit of the desert. “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachtani?” was likely not on his mind. Did the presence of mind leave his being some time ago? No one will ever know for sure. I can say that with absolute assurance. My dad chose that path. So have other dads of friends I hold dear. I’m not part of any “survivors” group with a name. I’m part of that ignominious club that has some interest in trying to get people like Judas Iscariot. I don’t think that, when it comes to suicide, it’s a matter of how “they” got so disconsolate, but when their disconsolation was fired into despair beyond despair. There’s no indictment over survivors’ failure to interdict, intervene. People choose their paths. And the kindest thought I can muster is that sometimes they choose paths that, whether they can foresee or not, possible outcomes, they then choose not to act, but simply react. So, this is the elegy for the young punk whose fifteen Warhol minutes ended up in Sheperd yelling “Cut, cut, cut away….” Sheperd has a heart that is true and on course. But none of us can delay what we cannot foresee. And now we have cell phones and chase helo’s and drones/satellites that can nail us before we’re even aware that we’re conscious. That’s why this kid’s soul and all those of the faithful departed need the “Dies irae” prayed over them.

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