There is a split-second for your body to prepare for the trauma before the car slams into your left side, and a leisurely ride into work on a sunny day becomes an exhausting and painful day at the hospital.
Your fight-or-flight instinct is sparked by the adrenaline pumping through your vulnerable shell: your heart pounds; your muscles tense; your awareness is heightened, just as the worst of your situation becomes the prime object of your focus.
The hood of the car is, all at once, a white blur streaking toward you, and also a crystal clear threat to your existence.
As the collision strips from you the handlebars–and with them your ability to control your destination–you hold out your hands to catch yourself from a fall that you won’t be able to avoid. Continue reading “Battered not broken: reflections from a scooter crash”
Kevin McGinty was one of those people whose generosity of spirit cut through the callousness of a world drenched in cynicism.
He could be cynical, like all of us, but I only heard it in the form of his jokes, or anecdotes, or a few words of encouragement.
As I heard of his death today, I wanted to offer an anecdote of him that I remember daily.
[Listen to a special program in tribute to Kevin]
Continue reading “Remembering Kevin McGinty”
In the pangs of grief the simplest tasks can seem the most insurmountable.
Buttoning a shirt.
Pouring a glass of water.
Writing a paragraph.
Inexplicably we can burst into tears because our subconscious remembered that we were grieving, before our conscious selves permitted the rawness to claw back to the surface.
Continue reading “In grief, the shortest writing can be the hardest”
It’s a powerful scene in the movie Kingdom of Heaven, in which newly-minted Christian knight Balian (Orlando Bloom) releases into freedom ‘Saracen’ knight Imad ad-Din al-Isfahani…on account of his quality.
Balian had fought and defeated what he thought was Imad’s master, over a horse found on the master’s desert plot. Balian ordered Imad to take him to Jerusalem, but then released him and gifted him the horse.
“Your quality will be known among your enemies, before ever you meet them,” Imad says, before riding off.
He recognized the goodness (or at least capacity for mercy?) in Balian.
Continue reading “Your quality known among your enemies”
It wasn’t until long after the car had passed, and I had escaped unscathed, that I realized I hadn’t panicked. I remember hearing once that traffic incidents often happen near home, probably because we let our guards down.
Maybe that was in the back of my mind as I rode my scooter, on my street, three houses from my home, and I saw the headlights veering toward me. Cars park along one side of my street, so it’s not unusual for a car to drift farther than necessary. I watched closely though, shifting closer to the sidewalk on my side of the street. The headlights kept coming. The speed was noticeable. I moved even farther to the sidewalk. Then the headlights swerved quickly toward me, then away, and the car passed.
I stopped, letting my scooter lean beneath me toward the sidewalk as I looked at the car, waiting for some sign that the driver was aware. It appeared to run a stop sign and hurry away. After continuing home, and taking stock of what had happened, I realized: I didn’t panic.
It may seem like a silly thing to think about, “did I, or didn’t I, panic, and why, or why not?” But I’m very aware of how much control over my reactions I do or don’t have in situations. As a radio host, I’ve been told I’m uncannily cool under pressure, under deadline, under the constraints of a clock. The fact about radio, though, is whether or not I hit a post (speak within my allotted time) or not, is not a life or death matter. Of course I have pride in my work, a deep work ethic, and a desire to do my best for my listeners, employer, and self.
Continue reading “As the headlights swerve toward you, don’t panic”
Editor’s note: Here are some past thoughts about living a Fourth away from home, from 4July2009. A new post will be coming soon.
Regular readers of AnthonyGanzer.com may be surprised by this, given my frequent jaunts to Europe over the last few years, but this is my first “Fourth of July” not on American soil. The “Fourth” has taken its hits as a holiday just as others have. Christmas was adorned with Santa and commercialism, Easter with rabbits and biologically inaccurate eggs, and the “Fourth” has its customary PBS concert specials and sales on charcoal briquettes–the things on which freedom was built, of course. And who can forget the elaborate fireworks displays, and toddlers running around with “harmless” sparklers in the front yard.
But even those subtle remembrances to our country’s founding are absent here in Germany, though a faint sense of patriotism still wafts in the air.
Continue reading “A “Fourth” Away from “Home””
I’d like to begin this post by expressing my regret that, after enduring the pain and emotional exhaustion of a wife battling cancer, a man lost his leg in an accident involving a falling crucifix. I begin with that expression of regret because I want to be clear that I don’t bear any negative feelings toward the man described in this CBS 2 story from New York.
It was tragic.
But in reading this story I was presented with a few theological considerations, perhaps prompted by poor or unclear writing: “David Jimenez believed his devotion to a crucifix was responsible for his wife being cured of cancer,” it says. This sentence infers the man had a devotion to a particular object, a crucifix. And in his desire to show reverence for that object, it dislodged and crushed his leg. What is this story saying, or not, about faith, and about God?
Continue reading “Reflections on a falling crucifix”