I’ve started several times to try to describe the past few days but the words don’t come – or rather, too many words come – and so I give up and try to sleep instead. It’s been something of a blur – well, not really, more like a flood of incredibly lucid events interspersed with a thousand forgettable things that have to be done. But it is these events, or instances, that keep me awake at night wrapping and rewrapping a rosary around my hand. Trying to forget.
But it is impossible to forget. Like a helicopter ride on Saturday. It was me, a paramedic, the South African pilots, a man that had nearly been beaten to death the day before, and his mother. She was blind in one eye and stared out the window with tears dripping off her chin. I had my IPOD on under the headset. Berber’s Addagio for Strings was playing – over and over – and there is a point in the music where all that is heard is a single violin stretching a note out so perfect and beautiful that it alone could break your heart. And I looked out the window at the beautiful mountains and tried for the hundredth time that day not to cry.
Like tonight when I sat outside with all the men from the family of the driver that was beaten to death – their white robes reflecting the light of the silver crescent moon. The rain showered us with large, gloomy drops as we listened to our director convey condolences for another senseless, inhumane murder that, taken together with the thousands of others, make up this senseless, inhumane catastrophe we’re working in.
Like hearing the stories over the past few days of the rapes, the banditry, the assault, the honor killings, the shootings.
And I wonder sometimes if good is slipping out of the world. Like a glass tipped over on a table with goodness dribbling out onto the floor.