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Sunday, July 7, 2013
Destination Unknown...Wang Lin Jia and Ye Meng Yuan
The oleander bush, high as a house, was mine alone this morning. Early sun-angle described petals and their shadows, in unlikely perfection. Not one white bloom, amongst thousands, marred or shadowed.
Yesterday, half a world away, two sixteen year old girls were on a life-enriching journey towards San Francisco. Were they sharing secrets and excitement, as girls do? Did they giggle together about boys?
Just as we were looking at Impressionist paintings, at the Legion of Honor Museum yesterday, congratulating ourselves for beating traffic over the Golden Gate Bridge, two lives ended on the tarmac of the airport.
Replete with pastel rivers and sailboats, we ordered "Theophile" quiche in the museum cafe. Waiters in red and white striped retro-aprons and starched shirts. What were the girls parents doing at that moment, still oblivious to the news that would rock their worlds?
Startled by the staccato car radio account of potentially immense human anguish happening so close by; grasping at positive word-images of walk-away survivors. Empathy choking my throat, making it hard to speak and translate what I was hearing on the drive home. "It could have been so much worse?" & "Only two deaths".
Today, hearing that the two victims were young women on the threshold of their adult lives broke my heart. No-one wants anyone to suffer or die, but sometimes we can rationalize about a life well lived, or an inescapable destiny. There is something so harsh about a plane crash, survived by so many, but not those two.
The journey of those parents, now compelled to rush towards a nightmare from which there's no awakening; suspended for hours in a similar plane; landing under still, blue skies. Members of a newly formed, exclusive club of bereavement.
Could it have been any worse? Not for them.