Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

You never know when inspirartion comes...

...Or from where.

The packing job in Oklahoma City got done much earlier...and much easier...than I expected. Not as many books as I was led to believe, and much smaller sizes, too. So I released the crew, which worked out well because it poured down rain, today, after storms last night. Well, it is tornado season, and Oklahoma does have her share of them.

I dropped 1 guy off at the airport and went driving around. Hit downtown OKC to find most of the traffic lights were out and some trees down. Nothing much else to see, until I wound up at the Murrah Memorial Park. It was the location of the Alfred Murrah Federal Building blown up by Timothy McVeigh in April 1995. Killed 169 people, including 19 children.

 This is how it looks, now...and it seemed right to wander these grounds in the rain, not on a lovely day. Etched on the gate at the top of the reflecting pool is 9:01 -- the moment before the bomb went off.

At the other end of the pool is a similar gate with the number 9:03 etched into it...the moment after the bomb went off.

The pool, itself, represents the moment the bomb went off -- 9:02.

On the south edge of the pool are 169 empty chairs. Two sizes representing adults and children. Killed by a right wing asshole who decided he was the same as God. It's all very lovely and well-tended and quiet and a single parks ranger walks about to make sure it stays that way. The gentleness of it reminded me of my trip to Dachau, and how antiseptic is had become.

But something I didn't catch, at the time, was how it's also a way of memorializing the dead with a vague monument that says it means so much...but does not truly understand what happened. Nor does it offer any form of learning from it.

Visiting this area in the rain cleared my mind of many things...and opened up a new path into Place of my surprise. I thought I knew the ending and had the right words in place for it...but this little trip showed me I did not understand what Brendan was saying...not until today. He's talking about how we, as people, fetishize any evil done to us, giving us cause to commit that same evil on others.

And that is the story of mankind...

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