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rain drops on a Saturday afternoon

January 16, 2010

I’m kind of happy that it’s raining today. It gives me an excuse to sit inside and drink coffee with my beau. It’s my first day off in a week and feels wonderful.

Being full, happy, content and warm in times like these does make me feel a bit guilty. Last night as Jonathan and I stood in my apartment we watched the police tape off an area on the bridge where Peachtree Street crosses I-85. It was confirmed this morning that a man had committed suicide by jumping off the bridge onto the interstate below. I always have a hard time understanding how someone can feel so hopeless and unhappy that they actively want to die, but now, in light of the disaster in Haiti this week, it is even harder for me to understand why someone would choose to end their life. How can millions of people be fighting for survival in one place and a person is giving up in another place?

The last few weeks have repeatedly made me realize how fortunate I am. We spent about 2 weeks in below freezing weather here in Atlanta. I would come home from a trip, turn the heat on, and smell the distinctive smell of heat. How many people in the world have never smelled mechanically produced heat? How many people will never know the instant warmth of a hot shower? We are spoiled people.

I was at a restaurant last night having dinner with Jonathan and another couple and we saw the images of suffering in Haiti on tv. I wanted to turn away, to not let those pictures stick in my mind. They are unpleasant and uncomfortable. But what is my mental discomfort compared to the loss of these people? I hope I can never ignore the suffering of others. I also hope that I don’t just sit around and appreciate how great my life is. If my discomfort doesn’t lead to action on behalf of others, then I am a sad person.

On a more cheerful note, I am reading “Pride and Prejudice” for the first time. I can see why it is such a classic. In spite of the fancy language, it’s actually quite funny and charming.

I met a man on my last flight yesterday who made me feel happy for marriage. He has been married 30 years and said he was probably just as excited to get home and see his wife as I was to see Jonathan. He said she is his best friend and that the trip they just took would have been so much more fun if she could have come. She is a very straight forward woman, which helps because they always both know where they stand with each other. When they first got married as juniors in high school people placed bets on their marriage only last 8months – a year max. I hope they collected on those bets.

Currently reading: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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