Sixty-Six for Sixty Six, Part XI: Purification

March 2, 2017, Prescott-  

A handsome, smug man, in his twenties, happens upon a lovely woman, about his age, tries to get a date with her, and is rebuffed.  He stalks her, online, and screen-shoots photos she has posted on her social media.  He finds that, instead of going on a date with him, she went to a rave, at a converted factory.   Incensed, (no pun intended), he goes to the very next rave, finds her, and drops an incendiary device near where she is standing.  He has carefully jammed the nearest exit shut, the device goes off, and 39 people die, in the ensuing blaze.  The woman he wants survives, but is burned over 30 % of her body, and is blinded.

This was the gist of a three-part episode of Dick Wolf’s “Chicago” quadrilogy, which aired Wednesday evening.  It hit hard at me, for several reasons:

  1.  I have had a family member, by the grace of God, survive severe burns and go on to live a full life.  I could not imagine life without that family member.
  2. There was a time in my life, about seven years, when I was rebuffed by women, primarily because of my own awkwardness and quirky behaviour, not because of any particular flaw on their part.  I never harboured any desire for revenge against any of them, figuring we would each find our own special soul.  I did, and had thirty good years with her.  One of the women, I know for certain, also did and has had nearly 47 wonderful years, with a very good man. I’m willing to bet that a good many others have had fine relationships. I’m glad we’ve all moved on, in peace.
  3. I maintain that the worst human loss is that of a parent losing a child.  Thirty nine couples lost a child, in the triptych mentioned above.  My in-laws lost their daughter, nearly six years ago.  My mother lost a son, many years ago.  Some good friends have lost children, over the years.
  4. I know children, still of formative age, who show serious signs of heading in a sociopathic, or at least misanthropic, direction.  Good people, professionals, are doing all they can to head such a fate off, at the pass, in a manner of speaking.  Yet, we can’t save everyone.

This is the season when we Baha’is conduct a Fast, of nineteen days’ duration.  There is a physical component:  Able-bodied people, between the ages of 15-70, take no food or drink, between sunrise and sunset, during those nineteen days.  The more important spiritual component gives rise to examinations of self.  It is all about purification, as the season of Lent, which coincides with our Fast this year, does for Christians, when conducted at its best.  The self-examination aspect is what led me to share the above observations.

10 thoughts on “Sixty-Six for Sixty Six, Part XI: Purification

  1. As I read the beginning of this, I thought you might be writing about the Ghost Ship incident in Oakland, in which a fire destroyed the building in which a rave was held. It’s a little scary that your piece was, in fact, a summary of a fictional episode instead — a little too close to reality, and cause to wonder whether the fiction came perhaps after the real event. Perhaps saving those who are going astray depends upon those closest to each situation. I think, too, that we have forgotten to teach our children that happiness comes from within ourselves, and that others cannot make us happy. I think it’s important to remember this from both sides — that we cannot make others happy, although we can provide an accepting environment within which others can find their own happiness.

  2. hate is so much harder ultimately to choose. active anger, retribution. it matters little what the word choice of sadness is. it is best to hope or learn to to endure with joy that it is okay to hurt. isn’t it not natural to grieve? but also too isn’t it not a hope weempty that grief to leave room for more happiness again? – – mine is due or technically probably already married. or not mine obviously 😉 was i ready? no. I find it a blessing you chose to share that aid of thought to allow it to maybe sting as obviously i wouldn’t be I would hope I win love as am gift the chance with another notby artiface or circumstance, was chosen completely- even i didn’t feel that any step of my romance as it was troubled and perhaps you can spot two namable reasons why yes, i am one. the other you wouldn’t have met her or the him. but here’s a nicety in another gift, just like she had hoped after and kept up I am allowed the same- no not to wantonly hope but to peacefullly share in a joyous life lived . such doesn’t mean secretly hope it fails MY TURN either as that’s spotable 😉 but to genuinely live forward just as she chose and does. so 🙂 why would I want more misery it won’t change my now to wish woe into any future. it wont even change my spot for them to sadly not be blessed with joy. that simply would be sadness …but yes, I know well that fire of being sick tired yada of NOT winning. the gift the whatever sadly yes the prize. but, isn’t it a blessing? I would only be winning a loss should i have done so. thank you for wanting me to win. it makes it easier for me to 🙂 kind of ya.

    • A healthy grief is the means to healing, after any loss. It is harder, for those who lose a child- as there are so many “What ifs”, and it is not in the natural order of things.

      • as one of my xanga pals has that loss to bear, I at least am aware of it…never married no children. I know 3 xangan’s directly thus who have that sadness obviously and sadly, but just as obviously do not remain as close even in online terms with them. interestingly before moving on this current phase of my journey the last Denver area home i lived in is where the neighbor lost her boy. I lost contact with her a beered evening sharing gone sour. i do hope she sees at least the me then’s need of hope./belief and how obviously this set of experiences leads me to that paradoxically if you remember my fascination with them things to it as for now i again must lose mine to joy. perhaps that is a lesson I am to see 😉 ? the need isn’t required nor the desperation of it.

  3. I watched this 3 hour episode on Chicago Fire, Chicago PD to Justice. I love this series, and watch it every week. I think Dick Wolf is a very brilliant man to be able to bring in to TV, the normal day to day lives, that can impact lives.
    This story too was intense, as this 20 year old man, took the lives of 39 other teens, because he hated the woman who was burned but survived, for rejecting him.
    One thing is, I wanted to add, was this young man, who was a psycopath, shows his arrogance right from the beginning. And his family dynamic was sure to have produced this behaviour. It is very clear, that the mother and the father was more, concerned about the appearance and notoriety they got than what was going on with their son.
    Actually we live in a world, where, the physical appearance counts a lot to be accepted. And that love that should be shown by parents and closeness is gone. I always try to emphasis to my children, that looks does not matter. What matters is you.

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