Monday, May 2, 2011
Reminiscing and the Big News
What an interesting week. My little experiment to "unplug" was rather successful. While I did cheat a couple of times to check weather and a few news bits, I held true to my goal of not surfing nor watching TV. Last week I managed to get through quite a bit of school work and also spend more time with some hobbies that have been shelved as of late. I would say in all honesty that I wasn't quite as productive as I'd hoped, but certainly more than I had been. It was nice being able to sit at the coffee house with a book. A real honest to goodness book....and just read. I was the only one there without a laptop open.
Lots going on recently too. Started my marathon taper, so my running schedule is finally easing up a little. Really looking forward to kicking off this year's running season in two weeks. One of my biggest distractions this past week has been with trail reminiscing. This past weekend was the Day-Zero PCT Kick-Off in Southern California. All of the this year's aspiring thru-hikers were hanging out just as I was one year ago. Thankfully, the organizers moved the kick-off back a week to help with the record snow this year. I know a couple of people that were there and have since started their thru-hikes (Good luck Tommy!). I had desperately wanted to attend again and catch up with some of my fellow class of 2010 hikers...but it just wasn't economically feasible Add all of this to the fact that it was 4 years ago yesterday that I started my Appalachian Trail thru-hike and this marks the first year where I am dealing with two significant thru-hike anniversaries. Needless to say my mind has been wandering a lot to thoughts of the trails.
Last night I decided to pop the TV on to see what kind of news I'd missed all week....and the bombshell dropped. American Navy Seals had located and killed Osama bin Laden. There were thousands of people in the streets here at Penn State screaming, chanting and celebrating......as I'm sure there were all over the country.
To be honest. I'm not sure how I feel about that. My very first thought when I heard this news was one of relief. Finally this long chapter hanging over our heads can be closed. The world is safer and a horrible and evil man will no longer be able to kill innocent people. But to celebrate? Celebrate what basically amounts to an assassination carried out by the US? The whole eye for eye bit? Don't get me wrong. The man was as evil as they come, and surely deserved to be brought to justice. Thousands of people around the world have died because of this man. But to intentionally assassinate him, and then celebrate it openly seems a bit off to me. Celebrating this will only make the extremists more angry and probably treat this act as one of martyrdom. The 2nd in command person will simply be promoted and things could become even more heated. Like I said, I'm just not sure how I feel about all this....but I'm sure some will read this post the wrong way. Understand that I do love this country, and I do love the freedoms we are all allowed because of thousands of brave men and women. I am aware of all the sacrifices that have been made. I still vividly remember sitting in a meeting at my previous job on that Tuesday morning back in 2001...when the planes started hitting. I remember how angry I was at that moment. My only sense of uneasiness from all of this comes from the celebration of the death itself. There is a very palpable sense of revenge, a very real sort of eye-for-an-eye, "take that" attitude I see from people concerning all of this....and to me this should not be the primary afterthought on our minds following such news. What does that say about us? Partying in the streets? Really? Today should be the day we dedicate to those who lost their lives because of this evil man, and day that we can finally let all of those truly rest in peace.
Think I will try to continue my moratorium on technology for a bit. It will be hard, and I will still squeeze in a blog entry here or there, but for now I have lots to get done for school.
Happy trails class of 2011 thru-hikers....wish I could be out there with you.