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January 6, 2011

“Open grieving is bound up with outrage, and outrage in the face of injustice or indeed of unbearable loss has enormous political potential.”                                                                                                                                                                                              Judith Butler, Frames of War: When is Life Grievable

Yesterday, while falling at York campus an ambulance appeared on the horizon. Since it was traveling on a footpath its approach was slow and there was little doubt as to its destination.

As I continued to fall–ninety-two, ninety-three, ninety-four–several questions went through my mind: Will I finish before they reach me? Would they/could they stop me? Who called them? If someone was concerned about my well-being, why didn’t they stop and ask if I was okay?

By ninety-six the ambulance had pulled up in front of me and alongside my music stand with its information postcards and flag. The paramedic on the passenger side rolled down his window–ninety-seven–looked at the cards and the flag–ninety-eight–looked at me, rolled up his window and the ambulance continued on by.

In the ambulance’s wake I was struck by a sudden and raw surge of emotion. I wanted to cry out, to throw myself to the ground weeping, to scream with outrage: Emergency! Emergency! Emergency!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Laurie Vosters permalink*
    January 23, 2011 12:39 am

    This is a really powerful post Helene. I love it.

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