Jack Bauer’s “24” Boston


TWENTY-SIX HOURS. That was all the time it took for the authorities to release the suspect’s photos and their “dead or alive” arrest.  That is mind-blowing to me.

And before that, the fact that within 48 hours after the bombs, officials had managed to scan and sort through miles of video footage and tens of thousands of people.

Into a populated haystack they went and came out with the one needle: two people with faces needing names.  Within hours the surge of social networking gave identities to the grainy photos. 

Unbelievable. If you ever thought “nobody’s looking…”, think again. People are always looking. And in this case, thankfully. 

Friday was spent twitching over the news. Work for 30 minutes then check the news, watch the video, read the feed. Reluctantly return to work, then repeat.  Hour after hour I was, like many, so caught up in the swell of the wave that I simply failed to step back and reflect. I failed to pray, to mourn, to be centered in any way.

I left just like I do after a marathon of watching “24”. We were living the life of Jack Bauer. A life I had thought was fiction was, instead, too real.  Real. Really?

Last night at the Field Museum of Natural History, I ended up talking for a bit with an off beat geologist (was the adjective necessary?).  He animatedly discussed what we learn from meteorites -rocks which are millions and millions of years old.  One of the biggest lessons? That time itself is porously fluid – the past happening in this second as our time sees for the first time an event that happened a long time ago.  Time is never static. Time is never fixed or stagnant. “To say this is the way it is,” the geologist intoned, “is to say this is the way it is now.” And only now. It wasn’t that way before and will not be that way in the future. 

So this was 26 hours, lived in 24. This week of deaths, bombings, fears and disappointments, is now. And only now.

Today I look forward to reflecting on the now. And on the eternal now as well. The ancient of days. The unceasing I AM. Because that One too, is real. Really. 

One thought on “Jack Bauer’s “24” Boston

  1. We are rooted in the now. The roots go down to then and raise up to future. This past week, because of constant coverage in all media, we all experienced a real 3-D event through our senses. We emotionally experienced the Boston marathon bombing visually taking in every bit and byte, Who did this? melted into who are they? meted to where are they? melted to dead, wounded and in a blood-stained, canvas-covered boat. Jack Bauer showered intense anger, revenge and smashed our enemies one by one acting out our rage and impotence. Last week, all we could do was watch and wait until hope appeared, then resolution, but not why. Why is the future – it is in this existential ennui we all exist, even Jack Bauer with his what’s next but not with the comfort of I AM.

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