It has been some time since I have last posted a blog. Many events have occurred since that last posting; some of them unbelievably tragic and some more personally uplifting. I will try, here, to provide my perspective and (at least to myself) surmise my view on the past few weeks.
The horrible attacks that befell Boston and our Nation on April 15th and 19th deeply impacted the lives of countless people both in Boston and around the world. Even now one of our fellow students remains hospitalized, along with his wife, as a result. I do not consider myself a well versed writer and even now I struggle to find appropriate words. Though it is certainly not enough, I can only say that my thoughts and prayers remain with them and all of the victims of the attacks.
As I think of my dual roles as both a clinician in training and as a soldier and how I internally responded to the attacks, I realize the primary emotion that I have and continue to struggle with is a profound feeling of helplessness. Logically I understand that my duty in my student role is to learn and prepare to respond to crises in the future and my current role as a soldier is to train others and to be ready to respond when called upon. However, my emotions damn me for not being able to help in the immediate aftermath. I am well aware that these feelings are prevalent in many of us (and perhaps even more so to those of us in the helping & protecting professions); and while I do not know how best to respond to them, I am grateful for them, both in myself and in others. These feelings and the desire to help are what cause good men and women to run, not away, but toward danger and to fight and struggle valiantly to help one another in the face of chaos.
I will end here, for now, with two of my favorite poems/writings; because though I may not have the words to adequately describe my feelings, I have been fortunate to be able to find them in others.
THE MAN IN THE ARENA
Excerpt from the speech “Citizenship In A Republic”
Delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.