Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sad Headlines

Two weeks ago, a man was pushed on to the tracks in front of an oncoming train near Times Square. 
Last week, a man was shot in the back of the head as he came out of a hotel near Columbus Circle. 

A few days ago, a man walks in to a school and shoots teachers and children.  

Today, a man jumped on to the tracks in front of an oncoming train.  

These headlines sit on my heart.  In this large, vast city where I admit that I am a bit naiive and perhaps too trusting, I struggle to maintain a balance in being open, but not  vulnerable, in sharing, but holding back just enough.

I don't want to wonder if the person standing next to me has a knife or a gun or will push me in front of a bus or a train or rob me, yell at me, swear at me or follow me home.  I don't want to become hardened to my fellow New Yorkers, not making eye contact, not talking on the train, not connecting. 

The day that I'm cold and cut off from those around me, suspicious and angry, or even worse, indifferent, is the day that I know that I need to return home.  

So these sad stories tug at my heart and make me weary. I will continue to be the only way I know how to be, aware but not suspicious, open but not vulnerable, trusting but not naiive. Still, it is exhausting, and I look at the people around me differently now, on the streets, in the stores, on the platform, in the trains.  It seems I've lost some innocence.

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