Guess what? Life is already bouncing back to my normal routine, except in the area of the news. Not working in New York, not being a member of our Armed Services, and not having a job in the US Postal Service, I am more free to be my old self again. There’s still the specter of the unforeseen danger that comes from just being an American at a time when this qualifies one as a target for kill. For now, my insular circumstances make that possibility remote.
What worries me is how easy it is for me to forget even the worst past tragedy and live so secludedly, so splendidly in the present’s magic moment. The quickness with which loss is dealt with today is eerie. As life in the fast lane would have it, there is a blurring of events and a fusion of images as we try to pass through Grief–a one-stoplight burg far off the interstate–doing 65. To idle in that place for any unnecessary length of time would throw off our tight schedule since we are in a perpetual hurry to transit to the next town, a far better destination to make progress.
To mourn is a lost ‘art’ in the West. To grieve by wearing black is out of place, positively old-fashioned to the point of being considered morbid. In Victorian times the traditional mourning period for a widow ran for two and a half years. Today, a black veil is a relic. Why would we want to waste precious time remembering those “no longer with us”?
It’s all about establishing value. What we mourn is what we value outside ourselves. To ‘cry’ over an extended time will convey appraised worth. We can’t let life become another throwaway commodity. When there is loss, we need to take precious time and walk the path in tears.