"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
mor-tal Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin mortalis, from mort-, mors death -- more at MURDER
1 : causing or having caused death : FATAL
2 : quality shared by all living things
John Michael's family is looking horror and tragedy in the face tonight. And they're not alone.
It's easy sometimes to convince ourselves that if we stay within the confines of our "safe" neighborhoods, we will still be safe. Sadly, that is not the case any more.
John Michael is the manager of the Applebees Restaurant in Short Pump, Virginia, a pleasant area on the outskirts of Richmond. Since his early teens, John has worked for the company and has worked himself up to manager of this busy location. At 23 years old, that's a lot of responsibility, but he handles it well.
Each morning he shows up at the restaurant at about 6am to open up. The cleaning crew arrives about the same time, and the waitresses and cooking staff arrive later.
Except, this morning, when the cleaning crew arrived, John was not there.
The doors, however, were unlocked. Apparently there were other indications that he had been there as well. Now he wasn't, and neither was his truck.
John would never have left the restaurant unlocked.
Now its 10:30 at night, and no one knows where he is. The police are saying that its likely he was robbed and kidnapped.
As far as the press knows, there have been no ransom demands. The police have been unable to locate the truck John drove. Things look very bad indeed.
We live our lives, day to day, and suddenly we face our personal Armegeddon.
In Richmond's East End neighborhood, a dangerous place at best, Alicia Robinson no longer lives at her North 19th street home that belonged to her stepfather.
That's because the mild mannered 53 year old woman who loved teaching Sunday School was stabbed to death, passing away in a pool of blood at the base of her stairs.
There has been no motive reported.
In South Richmond, on Hayden Avenue, a lady was the victim of a carjacking. She attempted to stop them, and was partially outside of the car when the carjackers rammed her at high speed into a utility pole.
In Richmond, the success rate at solving murders is not much higher than 25%, if I recall, so many of these lives suddenly snuffed out will never be avenged.
Fifty years ago, no one could have imagined the world we live in today. We are "civilized man" and yet the world outside my door is no safer than the jungle my ancestors walked in.
I think I can answer this, but its going to take more than one post. I'll continue tomorrow.
Murder is unique in that it abolishes the party it injures, so that society has to take the place of the victim and on his behalf demand atonement or grant forgiveness; it is the one crime in which society has a direct interest.
W. H. Auden
US (English-born) critic & poet (1907 - 1973)