Archive for August 3rd, 2007

I’m in public relations.  Obtaining media coverage for my company is a big part of what I do and the cover of major national newspapers and magazines is considered a coup. But it’s tough to see your city’s tragedy on the cover of The New York Times.  And yet for two consecutive days, the Times has printed above-the-fold-photos and articles of the tragic 35W bridge collapse that happened in downtown Minneapolis on Wednesday, Aug. 1. 

It’s grim. People died.  Family members have called me just to make sure that neither I nor my kids happened to be traversing the bridge at the moment it fell. We weren’t. But, in this metro area of nearly a million people, we all know someone who knew someone who was among the hundred or so people that went on that rollercoaster ride.

Our local news media, including the television news affiliates like KARE-11 TV and Fox 9 News, continue their wall-to-wall coverage of the events from Wednesday evening. It’s a constant waiting for reporters to utter the words no one wants to hear: The names of the dead now being recovered from the muddy Mississippi.

Like gawkers slowing traffic to see a fender bender, the city’s population waits – almost afraid to listen and look but unable to turn away when the anguish of a husband or a daughter is caught on camera as they explain how their loved one will be missed. How she just happened to take that particular route home after work. The last highway.

This morning I woke up, flipped on the Quasar and frowned as live reports were, once again, ensuing from the scene of the collapse. Ugh. It’s Friday. It’s a gorgeous day. It’s almost the weekend. Can news outlets at least make an attempt to include some other forms of regular news. Is it too early for us to make plans for the weekend. To have fun again. I’m not a callous person, it’s just that the rest of us continue to live life. We have no choice in the matter.

A friend of mine, going through a bit of self-discovery on her own, wrote that in order to live her life more deliberately, she is removing the extraneous, meaningless things from her daily life. In this  minimalistic-like approach, she believes, she’ll discover each day that she can live happily focused on just being alive and cognizant that because she could die today, she’s living fully right now.

Amen sister!

That’s one perspective that a bit of tragedy – especially mysterious tragedy that makes utterly no sense to anyone – paints clearly for all of us.  Life is fragile. Life is extraordinarily short. Life is such a gift and if we blow it, if we spend our days in woeful mental states, we lose those days.  Days we can not afford to just hand off. Days that are meant to be lived – wildly perhaps.



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