I remember my own emotions, the emotions of my city.... the TV coverage, the talking heads.... all of it.
That night my ex-boyfriends' band, Belle and Sebastian, was supposed to be playing The Roseland in Portland.
First there was panic because there was concern that someone we all knew was potentially *on* one of those planes.... but as the morning progressed, management called to assure us that the person is question was *not* on one of the planes.... and then there was this kind of guilty relief that washed over us all. Grateful to find out that our friend was ok... but then you think - why should *my* friend be ok when so many other people are not? What makes one person safe and another a National Tragedy?
Second, there was *much* debate on whether or not they should play their show that night. The world felt so heavy that day.... personal and political emotions collide in an unfamiliar place where there are *no* answers and every minute reveals more pain, more death.... more devastation.
It was debated amongst all the band members.... what do to - was it somehow disrespectful to play their show? How can we all sing and dance knowing that someone else is in catastrophic pain?
The thing is..... *every single day* - someone, somewhere is in catastrophic pain. Bad things are happening in the house next door to us, in our local schools..... sometimes, even in our own homes.
However, now in our modern times, we can immerse ourselves in this devastation sooooo quickly. We can twitter and facebook the death and the mangled cars and the kids covered in rubble being carried down shredded streets.... and so we do. We sit and we watch and we soak it in - and we look for the heroes - we look for the people who are helping and saving and we cheer as loud as we can for those being saved.... and pray as hard as we can for those who are not... those are missing.
In the end, the band played. I remember the tension in the room when they came on stage - the band felt uneasy, the crowd felt unsure of what they should do: clap? cry? collectively hug? After having stood in that small space that is between the band and the crowd (the photo pit) at literally hundreds of live shows - the electricity in the room had a flavor and a vibe I had never felt.... and I was pretty sure I didn't want to feel it every again.
All of Belle and Sebastian took the front of the stage, Richard sat at the drums and they opened with 'Turn! Turn! Turn!' by The Byrds. IT. WAS. AMAZING.
Within seconds the entire crowd swelled and sang along - which was good because the band hadn't rehearsed it much and some of them weren't entirely sure of the words... lol. It was a beautiful way to pay homage and respect to those going through such a hard time while we stood on our feet getting ready to enjoy the night..... and after they played that song, the entire venue shook and rattled with the roar from the crowd. And then the band played their full set.......
It seems to me that since I started The Blog there have been sooooo many horrible things that have happened. Batman movie theater shooter, the kids in the Oregon mall, Boston, Sandy Hook.... I'm sure that have been others.... and now we have almost a whole suburb wiped out by a tornado and *more* missing kids and people unaccounted for.... and death tolls rising and whatnot.
I never know what I should do.... it feels wrong to crack any kind of joke .... it somehow feels a bit wrong to smile. So..... even though I have a lot to smile about these days: today I'm just going to post the link above. If you want to help, if you can help - please do.
My thoughts and prayers are with anyone affected by the tornado.... and tonight: so are my words.
Please consider using the link above to find an org. that you feel comfortable making even a small donation, too. A little goes a long way.