Tears of Shiva shed into rivers. Cherry blossoms fell. The goddess of the confluence admired them for a time
before she released them. The tears scoured suffering. The petals added beauty. The river flows on.
I watch where streams of consciousness flow into one another and write what I see.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Under Siege in a Strange Land
In ordinary times, a trip to the gas station was not remarkable, but now, I looked carefully around me for parked cars with passengers, potential enemies, lying in wait. Was it my imagination, or were the streets quieter than usual? I couldn't put off getting gas any longer or I would run dry. No one was at the pumps, so I took advantage of the empty space and strategically pulled around to the back side of a pump so that the pump would be between me and a possible sniper. I only filled the tank half full and I retrieved my credit card quickly. I was successful, no shots fired. I speed off toward the daycare to retrieve my 4 year old.
They had just instituted a new system at our daycare. Parents would no longer park their cars and walk in to retrieve their children. Now, we waited in a line of cars. When our car reached the door a teacher would identify us and send our child out. Only one child would be allowed to leave. If someone was going to shoot children at school, as the Sniper had already done, it would be only one child at a time.
During the years that we lived in the DC there was an average of about 250 murders a year in that city. But this was something different. Looking at a map of where the shootings happened, they were all around us, North, South, East and West of our home. There seemed to be no pattern, no motive, just someone with a gun lying in wait at a gas station, a bus stop, a Home Depot, a school… For the first time in my life, I could imagine what a city under siege might be like.
When it was all over, my neighbor said that he had seen him. He had come face to face with John Allen Muhammad. After murdering, he showered at our YMCA, our Y, where we took our children!
People always ask me if I am afraid to travel by myself. The answer is no. For the most part I have always felt safer while traveling abroad than I do in the United States. There are certainly countries that I do not choose to travel to, but keep in mind that the average murder rate in the United States is 5.4 murders per 100,000 people, as compared to 1.84 murders per 100,000 people in Nepal where I travel most often. The United States is indeed a strange land having 90 guns for every 100 citizens. This makes the USA the most heavily armed society in the world. -Information gathered from Wikipedia.