Thursday, March 12, 2009

Survival

There's any number of things I was contemplating blogging about today - curling, Newfoundland tourism ads, a new idea for MUN's Board of Regents and a couple of other things. But this is one of these days where that all seems kind of shallow and silly compared to the real life and death drama that's happening off the coast of Newfoundland.

It's not all despair yet. As I write this 16 people are missing, but they're still searching and there's still hope. Their survival suits can keep them alive for up to 24 hours, even in the North Atlantic. So all is not lost yet, but obviously the odds get grimmer the longer this goes on. It's dark now and the search isn't going to get any easier with no daylight. And with one found alive, but in critical condition, and the other dead, it's just such a mixed bag of emotions. I know I'm not alone feeling that way.

This is one of those days where every single Newfoundlander or Labradorian is thinking about the Ocean Ranger. This is a day where all of us are thinking about what's happening. There's no six degrees of separation going on. Just about everyone knows someone who has a friend of family member working in the off-shore oil industry. I have two friends whose husbands make that trip on a regular basis. I've heard from one on Facebook letting people know her husband is fine. I haven't heard anything from the second one yet. She's not as regular a Facebook user and I don't want to bother her in what I'm sure is a hectic day with people constantly emailing or calling. But I hope her husband is all right. Odds are he is. Hundreds work on the off-shore. Still...

It's not a time for assessing blame yet (although I'd love to get my hands on a couple of the reporters at the lunch time press conference. "How deep is the water where they crashed?" What an asshole question to ask.) or trying to figure out what went wrong. I'm not much of a religious person, but if you believe in God and have a spare moment, a few extra prayers wouldn't go astray.

Last Five
1. We started nothing - The Ting Tings
2. Black wings (live) - Tom Waits
3. It's raining on prom night - Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies
4. It's my fault for being famous - The White Stripes*
5. Rebellion (lies) - The Arcade Fire

2 comments:

LabradorLady said...

It's funny isn't it how it doesn't matter what part of the world you live in; a tragedy of this magnitude affects us all. You live in the North, I live in Labrador, and through this sad story we are united. Don't believe in religion either, but my thoughts are with all those friends and families involved.

Ron said...

This is awful and senseless and I suppose after so many years I should be used to people dying for no reason. Getting tangled in nets and drowning, ships sinking, kids driving off the ice on snowmobiles, none of it makes any sense and I find myself more and more easily persuaded as I get older that there is no pattern or justice or mathod to any of it. Its all just one god damned thing after another. In some ways that might sound funny except trips will never be taken. Children won't be read to. People won't sit around a table with those men and shoot the shit for a couple of hours.

Salman Rushdie once talked about his atheism and how he had a "god shaped hole" inside him. Similarly each of these men leaves a hole in each of his friends and family where the good times and the companionship and the empathy should have been. That hole can never be filled. I know this because I have the same hole inside me and I deeply saddened and upset that anyone has to endure it.