That's a good word. ...and how I spent some of my day yesterday. ...in that autopilot mode I learned so many years ago when I joined the fire service. The mode that says, "Ace the emotions; this and this need to happen to make sure things continue to function..."
...and you need that numb to get you through grabbing for the live one you can still hear breathing under the bodies jumbled in the rolled-over car. ...and to try and get a line in the baby the guy from the engine company just carried from the burning house. ...and to keep yourself under control so you can treat the drunken driver who just killed the eleven year old boy and is on the stretcher above that boy's mother for the two hour trip to the hospital.
But sooner or later, you have to let things start to flow again. ...and maybe not be near people when it happens. garret was kind enough to link the Five Stages of Mourning for us. Make sure you know where you are on that scale for the next few days whenever you're speaking or writing...
I know where I am now: in what Shelley calls my "medic mode", that place I get when there's a job to be done and I just need to get it completed as best I can to maximize my patient's chances of survival. ...and my own. I'll get out of that mode in time, but right now there's business to be conducted.
Understanding the issues here is essential: read the blogs and the news analyses. Read the overseas editions and get a feel for things from another point of view. ...if you haven't been doing that before, now is the time to start. Become an informed person; understand what is happening and what is at stake. Discount the full-blown rhetoric; that's just another agenda from another axe-grinder. Get the facts, but find out how people feel about the issues. ...from a coupla' different perspectives. It's important folks: the winds of change are blowing; you need to get a eye on the direction.
Browsing the blogs, I ended up posting to Dave Roger's discussion group last night as I felt he'd missed one element in his analysis yesterday. My words merely provide an overview; there's plenty of other commentary out there that covers things much better than I can.
I still came away from the day with a massive load of sadness. ...both for the loss of lives and for the loss of innocence. It's still an abstraction to some...
...and you know what? I'd like to to stay that way for them. People shouldn't have to watch others plummet to their deaths. ...and Shelley and you and you shouldn't have to watch those horrified people on the tube. Yeah, the kids will sleep okay; it's the adults that will have a time of it.
...and back over in Dave's DG, I find Hal filed just before I did. ...and with a thought I can go with:
The collective we, and I suspect there will likely be consensus on this, will have to be sure of who we are going after and then eliminate them with as much emotion as you sic the cats on a granary full of rats.
Yeah... A call to vengeance is one thing, as that is the realm of Another; but to clear out the rats to prevent the spread of plague....
I'm sorry, Noah; I do agree with you. But this is plague...
...and the vaccines aren't working.