Powerless

This morning is an adventure in commuting for sure. What started out as a beautiful fall day of bright sunshine in a cloudless sky, crisp and clean where you are glad to be wearing a jacket, has become an experience where you are not sure how it’s going to end, but it’s such a nice day nobody is really getting very upset about it.

Looking up at the monitors, pointed out by Trevor and Liz, we were going to be delayed. The tv monitors in the waiting area showed police cars in Greenwich, but I have no idea if that meant the issues there were related. It was as if we were Under the Dome, or enjoying the nice weather knowing that somewhere not far away lots of trouble was happening. And in our case, the power was out on the New Haven line in NYC.

Last night Kecia and I decided to get into “Homeland” on Showtime because we have heard so much about it, and Clair Danes had just won an Emmy for best actress in a drama. I thought it was a great idea, although given the subject matter, I wondered if it might be a little too intense, especially right before bed. After we watched the first episode of season one, our wonderings proved to be spot on.

The strange feeling is that watching that episode gave us a dramatic glimpse into another world, which has been so forefront for much of the country, but is totally foreign to our day to day life. How can that intensity be happening at the same time as this beautiful day in Westport? How can the sunshine be so lovely here while power is out down the line? How can we go to the Samford mall and think only about the new iPhones when shoppers in Nairobi are being terrorized in their mall?

When we get home and watch the news, it is as if that mall terror attack was right next door. And when amber alerts and child abductions appear on my phone, I think they are in my neighborhood. Or when rain and flooding hits Colorado, it seems like the clouds are just around my corner. I have wondered for a while if the constant visibility of tragedy anywhere in the world being broadcast in my living room and kitchen make me want to keep my kids safely at home, never venturing out of my sight. It might be nice here right now, but danger is or could be just out of sight. Danger anywhere in the world comes into the kitchen every night, with Brian Williams narration. I wonder how all kids being sequestered more in the name of safety either affects their perception or if family life may eventually swing back to a more relaxed and free existence. Given the technology, they are always tracked and being watched…

And today, my power outage will be someone else’s living room later for sure. In the Stamford train station, there were cameras and reporters, surely getting stories of angry commuters having to change to diesel trains or take busses to get into the city. But I can surely tell you that from my fought for train seat everyone seems relatively content have an hour added to their commute on this lovely day. Heck, we could all be at work instead of negotiating the elements that having made our routine a bit more interesting.

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