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.
I recognized John Kasich more from his days at Fox News than as a politician as I searched through the Davos Congress Centre for potential interview partners.
My bureau chief from Zurich and I made up a two-person team for twice daily reports from the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, and we took turns hopping from web feeds, to live events, to demonstrations, and sometimes just walking through a convention center looking for interviews.
Even mentioning my plans to look at minivans earned the kind of under-the-breath-but-actually-directly-at-you reactions you might expect.
“Well, well, well, a minivan, huh?! Going to be a van dad, huh?! Deciding to give up being cool, huh?!”
Even as jokes, the point seemed to be that entertaining the minivan — no matter the circumstance — constituted some failure on my part.
Let me say one thing from the outset: I place very little value on out-dated definitions of masculinity, strength, coolness, etc.
Any apprehension I had adopting the minivan did not hinge on any arbitrary definition of what constitutes a ‘manly’ or ‘cool’ automobile or not. My personal credo is not inherently linked to any product or campaign. (Gillette or otherwise.)
My real issues with a minivan rested in my realization that I’m entering a very different phase of life, and that my definition of ‘utility vehicle’ must change.
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.