blog-2013.04.16b

keep on running. (warning: links to GRAPHIC PHOTOS, proceed with caution)

PLEASE NOTE: this is part 2.
part 1 – my own photo gallery of this VS that, “look for the helpers 1775-2013” – is HERE (warning: contains graphic images).

yesterday was supposed to be a day of at-home-in-boston email catch-up, calls with agents, and finally breaking ground on sorting out what songs i’m going to play this summer when i take the band back on the road.

i’ve been putting it off.

i spent the latter part of last week traveling between boston, new haven, and new york (i did talks at harvard and yale) and i spent sunday staring at the wall (well, the equivalent of a wall in my life: a book and my twitter feed). monday (yesterday) i finally felt ready to get back the fuck to work. i woke up, meditated, drove my ass to yoga, left class and settled down at the bookstore cafe, cracking my knuckles.

the news came in at around 3:30 pm through twitter (someone tweeted at me: “TURN ON CNN EXPLOSIONS AT BOSTON MARATHON”) after i’d been working for about fifteen minutes. explosions at the boston marathon. i automatically assumed nothing really bad happened. i chatted with the girl at the counter next to me. explosions happen all the time. people are fine. two minutes later the first written news reports came in that people were missing legs. i started to cry. i apologized to the girl next to me, grabbed a napkin, blew my nose and gathered my brain, and realized that i was probably not going to get work done.

the thing was, i didn’t want to turn on fucking CNN.

first of all, i have no TV.

second of all, none of my friends are on CNN.

the moment felt just like the moment when i was in my boston apartment (same one) 12 years ago and i got a call from my mother (“TURN ON THE TV! THEY’VE ATTACKED THE WORLD TRADE CENTER IN NEW YORK”) and ran up one floor to lee’s apartment where he had a twenty-year old television that we dusted off and got cranked up to watch the horror unfold.

the moment was: is there more? is this an isolated incident? will things be bad? am i safe here? are my friends safe? followed immediately by a guilty sense of: things are happening!!! followed by a sense of: i bet the world is going to get worse now because people are going to start yelling and doing more bad shit to each other.

clutch a pillow and watch. pick a pillow, any pillow.

12 years ago, my housemates at the time, marisa and sandhia, raced upstairs and we all clutched a pillow on lee’s bed.

yesterday: twitter was the pillow.

the boston marathon ends about a mile from that apartment, where i’ve lived for 13 years. neil and i have been camped out for a few months on the other side of the river, a few miles in the other direction.
my phone exploded with texts from friends making sure we were okay.

neil was in london. all the cell service was down so i couldn’t call him. i tweeted him and i put the word out to the london people who might be able to flag him down.

the cafe fell silent and there was a great murmuring of news being passed from mouth to mouth.
a man walked in a approached a guy on a laptop: “excuse me but…did something happen? was there a bombing?”

that eternal question: why does it take tragedy to bring us together. i don’t know.

we all stayed glued to the feed. as people tweeted updated pictures i passed my computer along the counter for people to see.
i left the cafe at 5 pm and went home, and mostly didn’t leave twitter until about 9 pm.

i preferred to follow the news through the twitter feeds of the boston globe, the boston police, and @billy_baker, a globe reporter who was on the ground there and tweeting first-hand accounts.
and last but not least: i was following my followers, who were working as an aggregator. i tweeted news as it came in, asked for sources, and tweeted as things got debunked.

but really? it was about all being together. holding each other as a pillow.

reminding each other every hour on the hour that the bad guys won’t win, that we don’t run ourselves on the fuel of fear, that we see pain and we empathize and we rise.

obama said: on a day like today there are no democrats, no republicans, only americans.

i argued: on a day like today there are no democrats, no republicans, or americans…only humans.

this is the thing.

i am not a news source, i am a person. a person who shares news and who follows and has a following of people all over the world, so maybe i appear to be a news source, but mostly…i’m a person.
i am not fair and balanced.
i care mostly about everyone feeling like we are together.
that is my agenda.
and i do whatever it takes to make it feel that way.

let me tell you about patriots day, so you understand it.
it’s hard to describe patriots day in boston…and even harder to describe patriots day in lexington.

i grew up in lexington, it’s my hometown. it’s the town where the american revolutionary war began.
there’s revolutionary war shit EVERYWHERE. really. it is oozing out of the cracks in the street.

tourists visit our town green by the busload all summer.

stationed on the battle green in the center of town, there’s a summer-long permanent set of dudes in revolutionary-war-era costumes who will tell you all about the battle.
they look like this:

Bill Scouler: “Excellent Battle Green Guide” (photo via SAM601601 on flickr)

i actually trained one summer to be a tour guide.
you work for tips, it was right up my alley.

i learned all the information i needed for the test, and i nailed it.

everything from paul revere’s midnight ride

RUN PAUL RUN

to the famous words of captain parker as he tried to calm and instruct the terrified minutemen soldiers against the british:

“STAND YOUR GROUND
DO NOT FIRE UNLESS FIRED UPON
BUT IF THEY MEAN TO HAVE A WAR
LET IT BEGIN HERE”

it’s etched into my skull.
it’s etched on rocks downtown.

every year, near april 19th, lexington re-enacts the battle that took place in 1775.
last year, i took neil. he tried hard not to look british:

(photo by superkate)

and did a 6:30 am ninja gig, my first (and possibly last) ever:

(photo by superkate)

but this….it’s hard to explain, this tradition. it’s in my blood.
it’s what you do on patriots day: the re-enactment, then to some church basement or another for the traditional pancakes, then THE PARADE.

(i crashed the parade when i was 17 with a bunch of theater friends and some stolen shopping carts but that’s a story for another day).

meanwhile….the boston marathon always takes place on the same day.
the day is a state holiday, and the marathon begins west of boston and passes right under lexington.

all this stuff:
it’s our THING. it’s LOCAL.

and this is what i said to pope when i talked to him on the phone last night: i get it now, how you felt when 9/11 happened.
he’s from manhattan, he grew up there.

it’s PERSONAL.

and the marathon? it’s not even a building and symbol of capitalism…it’s a celebration of achievment. it’s like bombing somebody’s birthday party.
it’s meanness to the core.

i woke up every morning as a kid on patriots day, giddy as for christmas, at 5 am and trundled down the battle green to watch this story unfold again and again.
(the following photos by Joanne Rathe via boston.com)



as i grew older, i started to cry more. as a kid, it was just COOL. as an adult, it became more heartbreaking and depressing every year.
these dudes, these FARMERS WITH GUNS, fighting a squadron of british against whom they had no fucking chance. and the reenactors play it well.
the guys were shit scared. they’d barely ever wielded guns. they had no idea what they were doing.

this is the kind of shit that was hanging in the lexington library (probably still is, i haven’t been there for a while…):

a lot of people tweeted an important fact again and again yesterday….
that these kind of bombings take place EVERYDAY in some people’s lives.

death tolls from iraq from bombings yesterday? something along the lines of 250 wounded, 30 dead.

are we paying attention?
can we pay attention?
can we understand that a human being is a human being?

now, then, here, there?

on a day like yesterday, all these question fly into the air again.

yesterday i watched twitter and the internet break my heart (delivering news)….and turn into a force of good (delivering togetherness).

everybody sharing their thoughts, their pain, their news, their questions.
there was a bunch of goodwill on reddit (free meals, help locating people, places to stay). google sprang into action with a people-finder and other assets for those looking to help, and those who needed it.
were there false alarms? useless calls for blood donations? yes. i don’t think it hurt anybody.

look, i think, at all the people who want to help.

things got dark:

at around 8:30 pm, @youranonnews tweeted a picture.

they warned that it was EXTREMELY GRAPHIC.
i knew i wasn’t going to want to see it. i clicked anyway.
if you want to be haunted and distressed, click the link.
otherwise i don’t recommend it.

twitter.com/YourAnonNews/status/323955331346612224/photo/1

i retweeted it, along with the strong warning.
after seeing that, my night was over. all thoughts of work vanished.

i lit a candle.

i went back to the twitter feed. everyone together.

whitney texted from san francisco.
she was checking to see if i was ok, and she asked if i was going to yoga.
she’s three hours behind.

i wished there was a 10 pm yoga class in boston.

i texted her to dedicate her practice to the people who lost their legs. i hope she didn’t take it the wrong way.

i thought about going a late-night ninja-gathering on cambridge common, but between the city-wide calls for people not to congregate and the weirdness of dealing with potentially weird energy (i didn’t want to be a celebrity, i wanted to be a person), i didn’t do it.

but i wanted to somehow feel the collective sadness.
i asked if anyone on twitter wanted to join me in a 2-minute moment of silence.

a thousand people raised their hands.
so from 9:00-9:02 pm, we held a moment of silence.

at 9:01, i shit you not, our random weekly houseguest, liz duffy adams, who’s teaching a playwriting course at harvard, walked in the front door into the kitchen.

i was sitting in the dark, with a candle lit, in front of my computer, feeling the collected energy of thousands of people meditating on twitter.
i looked like i was holding a strange séance.

what do you say?
she barely knows me.

i said: “hey liz! how are you! this is kind of weird but i’m holding a moment of silence on twitter. hang on.”
she put some cookies on the table and brewed some tea. i finished my moment of silence and posted two self-sharpie’d pictures.

the last picture i posted put me over the twitter limit for the second time that day. not a tweet too soon.
“i keep meaning to use my twitter account” she said. “i don’t really understand it.”

i looked back at my computer and thought of every person i’d connected, and connected with over the course of the day.
i’ll give her a twitter lesson.

i went to sleep and woke up and went to yoga.
all i could do was feel my feet, my ankles, my knees, my toes….their very existence.

and feel grateful.

truly

truly

truly

grateful

keep on running

xxx
AFP


Click HERE to donate & find additional about The One Fund Boston…
…Setup to help the people most affected by the tragic events that occurred in Boston on April 15th 2013.

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  • Ben

    Such a horrible day.

    Regarding the man in the picture you retweeted:
    http://www.lowellsun.com/todaysheadlines/ci_23034567/pray-my-son-father-says-chelmsford-man

    • energy decisions

      The man next to him, wearing the cowboy hat, is Carlos Arredondo. He made the tourniquet he’s holding from a woman’s sweater, and probably saved the man’s life. He is the father of a young man who was killed by a sniper in Iraq. His other son never got over his brother’s death, and killed himself just over a year ago. Carlos has seen too much tragedy in his life. Please send him warm and healing thoughts to help him heal from yet another traumatic day.

    • Kat D.

      Ben, see my comment above about that photo. Cowboy hat guy — Carlos Arredondo — deserves a presidential medal or something, IMO.

  • http://twitter.com/MissMandaLuv Mandi Blahey

    Again and again and again. I spent those two minutes quietly crying at the moon, trying to wrap the world in love. Forevermore, we are people, big or small, famous, infamous, or invisible. We belong to eachother <3 Love you Amanda.

  • http://twitter.com/LittleJanelleS Janelle Sheetz

    I can’t imagine what it’s like for everyone in Boston and no words can adequately express anything, but Boston, know you have everyone’s love and support.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=507015034 Andrea Probert

    Amanda

    When my friend told me “There’s been an explosion at the Boston Marathon”, the first place I looked was on your twitter feed, knowing you’d be posting and putting the info together as it came in. So thank you. It captures so much more of the emotion than just reading a news article.

    I live in the UK, but I was in Boston this time last year, and somehow when dreadful things like this happen somewhere that you’ve been, it has a much greater impact than when you haven’t been there. It shouldn’t, but it does. Like you say, it personalises it. I can’t begin to imagine how much worse it would be when you LIVE there, when you know those streets, have walked along them for years.

    Events like yesterday make me so sick to the stomach that humans can act like that to each other, but seeing the help and generosity and community that such evil triggers goes just a small way to restore my faith.

    Take care and keep up the good work

    Andi x

  • lentower

    I wish more people would connect yesterday’s horror on Boylston Street with the similar horrors happening every day around our planet. That Obama, Patrick, Menino, et al would not only say: “Let’s catch the wretched souls who hurt America”, but “Let’s work towards ending this around the world.”

  • peace

    in a culture that celebrates war and killing, why is a violent act so shocking?

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      because it’s real.

    • http://twitter.com/FelixMarques Félix Marqués

      I guess it reminds many that human loss is a serious and terrible consequence.

  • Kat D.

    So, that really, really awful photo? The gentleman in the cowboy hat — the one who is HOLDING THAT DUDE’S ARTERY CLOSED? He’s a friend of a friend of a friend. His son was killed in Iraq. His other son committed suicide as he battled his grief over his brother’s death. His name is Carlos Arredondo, and in the darkness of that heartbreaking picture, he is the light. Amanda, please share his story.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvRuyGphm78&feature=share

    • Kat D.

      Oh, that’s not an artery after all, is it? It’s the strip of fabric he used as a tourniquet. I couldn’t bring myself to look at that awful picture — even the less-awful cropped version — yesterday for long enough to really figure out what I was seeing.

      • helsenki

        Apparently it is

  • http://www.facebook.com/courtneysimone Simone Smith

    Thank you for your words and sharing your feelings about this tragic event. I’m from California and have never been to that side of the country, but was so deeply affected by the news and the photos that I didn’t know how to function the rest of the day, and to make it worse all of my loved ones had just left town on vacation and I was left alone to deal with my feelings. I was only in junior high when 9/11 happened, and though it affected me I didn’t really fully understand. This felt different. This felt so much more depressing. Like you said, this wasn’t a corporate building, this was a local event. I will never get the images of this out of my mind. I rarely use my twitter account but logged on yesterday because just reading your tweets and the tweets of others made me feel less alone. I really felt the amazing collective energy when I took those moments of silence with everyone. I know you are just a person, but your music and your words have been comforting me since high school back in 2004 and I want to thank you for continuing to be such a inspirational artist and a friend in the darkness to us all.

  • biz

    thank you for posting graphic photos as just links. i very much wanted to read your words but not to see any more horrible sad pictures of my home.

  • http://twitter.com/MynteValkyrje Birte Valkyrje

    Hearing the news yesterday brought me back to July 22nd, 2011, when a terrorist bombed the offices of the Norwegian government and then proceeded to go to an island and shoot and kill teenagers, children, at a political summer camp for the Norwegian labour party. I lost a relative that day, a second cousin, and it felt like the country lost its innocence in a way. The outpouring of love and connectedness following that day was and is beautiful but we shouldn’t need these events to be connected, to help each other.

    It’s one of the things I love most about you both as a human being and as an artist, how you both ask for and give help and keep us connected and loving each other across borders and languages.

    Love will win. We will not give up. We will keep running.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lars.billback Lars Christer Billbäck

    July 22 2011 I sat helpless and starved for news in another country when splintered glass and blood spread on city streets I’d walked just a few short years before. And then there was rumours of kids dying on a little island in a lake near Oslo. Through Facebook and sms I could keep in touch with friends and family, ascertaining that they were safe. Twitter was alien to me, I was left with the TV broadcast of the country I was in, being blocked from seeing the feeds from my native country. It sucked.

    What happened in Boston is horrible. Your perspective and how you’ve communicated your feelings, fears and sorrows resonate with me on a decidedly personal level. I’m very happy you could offer humanity and guidance for your fellow bostonites, americans and humans.

    Hugs,
    Lars

    • http://amandapalmer.net/ Amanda Palmer

      and i’m very glad you could be here. thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/NancyFuknPants Pants

    I am originally from Puerto Rico. Moved here when I was 20 ( 9 years ago now) Boston was the place where I started my life as a proud out of the closet lesbian, got involved in the vagina monologues, got to meet wonderful amazing people that loved me, bent me, broke me, changed me for the better, challenged me and It is also the place where I fell in love with your art. Thank you, Amanda. That ninja gig was epic and I will never forget it. I knew more than ten people that were running the marathon. People I went to college with, people whom I trained in acting, people I haven’t caught up with in a while and wanted to catch up with…they are all well thank God. Like you said , this feels personal , this hits home. But also like you said, light gets through the cracks, and you are light. Thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/Kambrieldesign Kambriel

    A part of me actually did take it personally from the Boston perspective with 9-11, because of the fact that hijackers flew out of Boston’s Logan airport that morning. One reason of course being that with Boston-originated flights, many of the flight crews & passengers were locals (& indeed I’d heard tales of airport security who later committed suicide due to the guilt of “letting them through), but one other thing hit me in the gut that day… Who knows, & admittedly I read a great deal into things, but I felt that perhaps the teams of hijackers were aware that in some parts of the USA a group of Arabic men rushing through security might have drawn more attention, but Boston, being a port city, supporting an incredible, continual influx of humanity from all nations, a populace that’s often quite well-educated, cultured and worldly, home to ethnically diverse communities celebrating their varied heritages with open arms to others regardless of if they themselves were born into that particular community or not, it’s a city where they could have gone through an airport with nary a second look. In my mind, if they wanted to attack certain facets of American culture, it seemed they found a “weak spot” in choosing to use a microcosm of American culture that was somehow different…. That Boston’s vibrant cultural diversity could have actually been used against it. I know Boston tends to get overlooked in the 9-11 attacks, but I feel it was most definitely used, and most egregiously harmed that day.

    All that said, I do want this pendulum of violence to swing towards peace. I do think it’s wise to “look for the helpers”, I do think it’s important to keep centered in the present moment, the reality outside your window ~ not just the window of a tv screen or computer monitor. It’s important to be a force for good… Much like how a bad memory or an unkind word can take up volumes more space in our memory than a happy moment, or a compliment, I believe even in our world of continual balance, of ebb & flow, that even though it may look differently at times, ultimately there is less bad than good in the world. What we need to do is give more weight to the goodness in people, the kind deeds, the gentle words. And in the face of whatever comes our way, we need to never give up.

  • http://gabrielgrub.blogspot.com/ June_Miller

    I didn’t want to go out last night.

    I just wanted to stay at home, drink wine, look up vegan dinner recipes for two…anything close to normalcy and a quiet night to wind down.

    Because I was pretty shaken up during the day, after all this.

    I was really scared that those closest to me were hurt. It IS personal. I didn’t have anyone in NYC on 9/11, but it still shook me to the core. It wasn’t until my sister was deployed to Iraq a year or two after the fact that it suddenly hit much closer to home for me.

    But this was instantaneous.

    And seeing the footage…seeing the lone runner, near the finish line, closest to the blast…fucking crumpling to the ground. It made me gasp.

    When my friend, who is a bit of conspiracy theorist, started saying they’re hiding something up since they’re not releasing details about who a suspect may be, I (sort of irritatedly) reminded him that someone who does this kind of a heinous act isn’t aiming to get recognized off the bat. This was a cowardly act. Making a statement to an audience that just happened to be at the right place at the wrong time.

    It is bombing someone’s birthday party.

    And it is fucking appalling.

    And I’m so thankful the helpers, the good people, are the ones who are shining through in the midst of all this mayhem. Hearing of already injured runners rushing back to the blast site to help those worse off than they are get medical attention…I want that to hold a heavier weight than the damage itself. The damage is already plenty heavy enough.

    Stay safe, Boston. My heart completely goes out to you.

    .

    Stay safe, Amanda. I’m really glad you’re okay.

  • Musings

    Thanks for giving a real space to process. Sometimes, in other places, I feel like I’m intruding on people’s sense of normalcy, of the ordinary. But nothing about this is normal.

    A day before I was 7, I was in Sri Lanka visiting relatives when I heard a dull boom around 8 at night. Turned out it was a train bomb, and many people had died. One of my relatives lost a leg, but that was it. Later on, I became very good friends with a boy my age who lost both his sister and his mother in that bombing.

    9/11, I was in homeroom, my freshman year of high school. The news was on, and they were talking about the first plane. “I think it was an accident,” said the boy I was crushing on at the time, sitting next to me. Then we watched as the second plane hit. “I don’t think so…” I said, before the TV was turned off.

    My father, on a return trip to Sri Lanka, narrowly missed getting killed by a package bomb in a store he had visited ten minutes before.

    Newtown was close to the town I call my hometown, and when I returned to my classroom afterward, I thought about the exits, about where to hide children, about how to persuade scared or mentally ill people with guns to leave my kids alone, about the fact that my classroom was the only one you could get to before going to our secretary’s desk.

    Yesterday was my father’s birthday. The day before, I told my girlfriend that I had never waited at the finish line of the Marathon, that if I didn’t end up going to CT for his birthday, we should go and cheer on people right there — cheer on the best part of humanity as they made it to this awesome accomplishment.

    I hope I never become so jaded that I am not devastated by every act of violence that passes through my life, that I never forget to turn to the people I Iove and hug them, that no matter how many times I count the exits I remember, above all, to be kind.

    I am spending tonight with my oldest friend and spending the rest of my vacation week thinking about how to teach 11 year olds who within one year have once again had their ideas of home and security shattered that 1) it is ok to be afraid, 2) it is ok to be sad, 3) but the best antidote to terror is to love each other with a vengeance.

    • Leila M

      I think loving each other with a vengeance is the best thing we can do for each other, as human beings. Well said.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jodi.burckhart Jodi Burckhart

    Just finished running 16 miles and came home to find this….so perfect. I had a wretched 3 hour break between classes when I heard the news yesterday. I had nobody really to connect with, so I held onto Twitter…it was my pillow too. Thank you for suggesting @billy_baker to follow. I didn’t get to turn the news on until I got home after my 9 hour day at school, and promptly turned it back off. I much prefer the personal connection of everyone sharing their stories, their feelings. I’ve run 3 marathons now, including the cancelled NYC marathon last year. Runners are my tribe, and runners who do marathons are connected in such a special way. The physical and mental adversity we get over to cross that line…creates such a bond.
    Talked to my dad yesterday, who has 9 marathons under his belt and is my eternal inspiration. We both agreed that we were sad and angry, but we were never going to be scared.
    One foot in front of the other. That’s the only way to get through it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lars.billback Lars Christer Billbäck

      Your last two sentences, I love them. I run too. Done half-marathons this far, not sure if I can do a full. But it is as you say. One foot in front of the other, the only way to get through. Trust the rythm =)

      Hugs,
      Tribesman

  • http://www.concertmanic.com/ Sarah V.

    I’m a complete wreck. Lost a friend last week in an utterly random horrible unfair car accident. Left four kids and a husband. Could hardly get out of bed this weekend because I was so depressed (but feeling like I can’t complain and should toughen up because I need to support the family and etc). Then I drag myself to work on Monday and there’s a fucking bombing less than a mile and a half from me. My brother was downtown on Tremont Street when it happened and I couldn’t get in touch with him due to the cell phones not being able to connect. In a weird way some part of me is relieved that my friends are suddenly all paying attention to me and want to know if I’m ok. Even if it’s just because I live in Boston metro. I’ve been feeling so alone.

    • Amanda (not Palmer)

      Sarah: Remember that you are not alone, nor are any of us; together, we are never alone. I hope you, your brother, family and friends are alright, and I’m sorry for the loss of your friend. My thoughts go out to you, from the other side of the world. Stay strong.

    • miserichik

      Sarah, I’m sending a super huge hug to you, I’m so sorry for your loss. And like Amanda (not Palmer) says, you’re not alone. I reached out to the community for help last week and was so glad I did, I received some virtual love from this group. Now I’m paying it back. {{{hug}}}

    • http://revsean.com/ revsparker

      grief upon grief. may an abundance of love and support hold you through all of it until you are ready for healing to come.

  • Kristina

    I missed the two minute silence. I’m in the wrong timezone and I was asleep. But I’m sorry I missed it. Thank you for all the tweets and retweets while it was happening and thank you for also tweeting after you’d got in touch with Neil. It was a relief.
    I’m glad you’re okay. You were a positive force last night. Thanks Amanda.

  • Kristina

    I missed the two minute silence. I’m in the wrong timezone and I was asleep. But I’m sorry I missed it. Thank you for all the tweets and retweets while it was happening and thank you for also tweeting after you’d got in touch with Neil. It was a relief.
    I’m glad you’re okay. You were a positive force last night. Thanks Amanda.

  • Kristina

    I missed the two minute silence. I’m in the wrong timezone and I was asleep. But I’m sorry I missed it. Thank you for all the tweets and retweets while it was happening and thank you for also tweeting after you’d got in touch with Neil. It was a relief.
    I’m glad you’re okay. You were a positive force last night. Thanks Amanda.

  • Kristina

    I missed the two minute silence. I’m in the wrong timezone and I was asleep. But I’m sorry I missed it. Thank you for all the tweets and retweets while it was happening and thank you for also tweeting after you’d got in touch with Neil. It was a relief.
    I’m glad you’re okay. You were a positive force last night. Thanks Amanda.

  • http://twitter.com/Esmertina Esmertina Bicklesnit

    I was on a teleconference at work, demonstrating how to use the new CMS we’re developing. Here’s how you create a link to an outside page. Here, we’ll do CNN. … Oh shit. Everyone on the call gasped, and we all learned about the bombings together, a half hour after it happened.

    As soon as the demo was over, I didn’t head to CNN, or the Boston Globe … I went straight to Amanda’s Twitter feed. Because I knew this hit home for her, sure, but mostly because I knew she would connect me with all of you.

    It was messy and chaotic, but this self policing community debunked rumors, shared links, despaired and hoped. I was on the despair side and mad at everything. Mad at the bombers, mad at the media, mad at how our national response to tragedy has become so rehearsed and cliched. You all got me through it and to the place where I could see the good in the world again. Thank you so much.

  • http://twitter.com/jujyfruit0 Jessica Schwab

    Thank you so, so much for staying with all of us for so long yesterday. I know you must have wanted to shut down a dozen times (I know I would have, seeing & hearing everything you must have received as people tried to connect the dots). I tried to stay away, all day, but finally….at 5:45 PST you asked if anyone wanted to join in a collective meditation. And at THAT moment, a lovely woman whom I admire greatly had tweeted ‘Dammit. 8 yrs old. What do we do?’ So I asked her to join us, and she sent that request out. And right then I thought…..aha. I get it now. We aren’t ACTUALLY making the situation any better. We just can’t. But this is what we CAN do, and by god we’re going to do it. It felt so, so good.

    After the meditation I received a knock on the door. An unknown neighbor found my lost wallet and was returning it to me, completely in tact. He must have thought I was crazy, I just couldn’t stop shaking his hand and thanking him. Not for getting my stuff back to me. But for being human. Taking time. He reminded me, ‘You know, there ARE good people in the world.’ Yes. Yes, there are.

  • Elsa

    My 22 year old sister was at Prudential, about a hundred yards from the explosions. The day before she was joking about it, laughing at the fact that her sort-of boyfriend didn’t know it was a big holiday in Boston even though he’s lived here for three years. That’s my sister: joyful, sarcastic, fun-loving. Now I don’t really know if she’ll ever be the same. She’s coming home tomorrow from her apartment, but she has to wait for my mom to drive her because she’s too afraid of public transportation now. It’s incredible how quickly things can change.
    My dad is also a respiratory therapist at Children’s, so it’s a given that he’ll be seeing some kids with missing legs in the ICU. He’s seen pretty terrible stuff (babies dying is a regular thing), but it’s not going to be easy. It never is.
    Boston has changed.
    But Obama is right.
    We are resilient.
    We will get through this.

  • Claire

    It saddens me that the greatest motivator for change, on a personal or global scale, seems to always have to be pain. There is So. Much. Pain. in this world and the tools to help ease it, and soften it are so simple (not easy, but simple), but so foreign in society today that they are treated like poison.

    Love, compassion, tolerance and patience
    .
    It saddens me that fear holds the greatest power and that faith in this, the connectedness, scares as many people away as it draws in. Because it is the unknown, and the unknown is terrifying and can’t be trusted. It’s like when you tentatively step out of the darkness and into the light, and you realise the light that at first blinds you and threatens to hurt you with it’s intensity making you want to run back because you are so used to the dark, is so much softer and easier and more comforting than the familiarity of the darkness ever was. And in the light you can see clearer. And there is light everywhere.. Just like there are good people everywhere.

    Graphic images hit hard because they are that – graphic. The less graphic, or less obvious pain hurts just as much.. For example the witnesses; the ones who saw but couldn’t help because they were frozen with fear, and are probably guilt tripping themselves, and feeling so useless, and doing all that “I should have done xyz” thing that we humans love to do to ourselves, and not telling anyone because their pain is “less important” in comparison to other people’s etc. etc. etc. The love and compassion is needed everywhere. We are all human.

  • http://twitter.com/Ali_Coll Ali Coll

    Thank you for the assessment about it being like bombing a birthday party, I spent yesterday so close to tears for so long and I was asking myself why? I know about the horrific things happening to people every day other places and I’m not constantly in tears. It was/is the unexpectedness of it all, I think. I grew up in Ireland of the 80’s and early 90’s where though unusual there was the threat of bombs at public events, it never really happened apart from the Dublin/Monaghan bombings but we all knew there was a possibility all the time, the IRA had declared war on the British and the Unionists had the moral right to do the same. People were suspicious of bags not beside people who owned them. Not a happy way to live and we did not live in real fear but everyone had an awareness (I’m still uneasy when a bag does not have an obvious owner but I deal with it). I remember a classmate getting a pen-pal from the USA who asked were we scared of bombs and us (at 15-16) laughing at the question, innocents that we were. Your husband may or may not be able to cast light on what it was like to live in England (where the IRA did bomb) at that time,

    I think that is why what happened in your country upset me so much, we think the war is over here, yet someone with another agenda could now do the same again and (thankfully) the people born in the next generation from me have no in built reason to worry, to question someone leaving a bag somewhere and call the police because no-one will claim it. I envy the people who grew up without that awareness. I hate the fact that new people will have to deal with the sub-concious fear I still have. I hate the culture of fear it engenders. I want to have people able to celebrate achievement without having to question everything. I don’t want them to have to get nervous about every bag. My hope may be lost

    But as I said at the start, thank you for helping me put my feelings in context and understanding why I feel the way I do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/meninder.kaur.1 Meninder Kaur

    http://meninderkaur.blogspot.co.uk/

    Wrote that immediately after I got the news. The saddest thing is that it happens all over the world. In the middle east, in asia. The violence of Man is incomprehensible. But then I saw the courage of the people that united against it. And it gave me hope. It’ll be nice if we could remember to A.R.K(act of random kindness) as much as we can and try making the world around us slowly but surely a little better every day.

    :) *hands a random internet hug to those who need it and those who don’t* :)

  • Ali

    I’ve been through a disaster of my own, with the fear of lost friends, the fear of it happening again, the new horrific photos coming out day after day, the hundreds of stories from every new person I’ve met who was there when it happened, and I just have to say, my whole heart goes out to everyone affected by this.

    Even all the people who were far away, who didn’t lose anyone, who are distantly safe but who feel like they can’t live in the world the same way anymore, because I HAVE BEEN THERE, and it sucks beyond the telling of it, but I am trying to think of you, all of you, even if you are just a little bit more sad, just a little bit more scared, than you used to be.

    I’m so sorry.

    I’m thinking of you.

  • miserichik

    As a resident of a town very near Philadelphia, I fear for these attacks because I’m close to another large metro area so susceptible to these cowardly acts. I had to reach out to some friends yesterday to make sure they were okay, and I thought of you, Amanda, and Neil, and all of your friends and family. Glad everyone you are close to is okay. I was in choir practice last night, and we had a moment of silence and sang “America The Beautiful” as a tribute. It brought the house down and not a dry eye was seen. It made us feel like we’d sent a little love to Boston with our music. I am sad and angry at the lowlife, cowardly, not-fit-to-squirm-in-the-muck worm or worms who did this.

    Anyway, I am sending virtual hugs to all my comrades in this community to help them with any healing. Also sending a little voodoo to others in large cities whose lives will be affected in the coming weeks as we await the “dropping of the other shoe” so to speak.

  • Reznore

    Well yesterday looking for news on the net , I stumble upon the story of a teen girl from Irak who lost a leg
    American bombarment.
    Few minutes before i saw the picture of the guy with his legs destroyed in Boston.I think his name is Jeff.
    And I don’t think it’s different .
    Somebody think using bombs is justified.
    Hiroshima?Somebody thought this was a good idea…I’m french ,and we still have nuclear weapons …6 years ago , the French president was still saying , those bombs would be used if necessary.
    Obviously , we can’t control terrorist attacks …but our governments should know better.

    Anyway I hope people who have been badly injured will find the strengh to recover , and the families who lost someone will be alright.

  • smilebigM24

    Hey Amanda, I’m not too familiar with you or your music, but I saw your TED talk the other day and I wanted to tell you how deeply moving it was. I have a lot of respect and admiration for you and I hope to cultivate the strength and trust that you have in connecting on a human level. I’m 23, in my first year of grad school in clinical psychology. My mom passed away a week ago Thurs. I’ve been grappling with how I’m going do life without the support of my mom because it’s scary and sad. I know I have a ton of support and love around me right now, but it’s hard for me to do what you do. It’s hard for me to allow myself to be seen and reach out for human connection despite desperately wanting it at my core. One of the biggest things about my mom’s passing is that I thought, my mom was the one person in the world I could hug whenever I wanted, however I wanted, as long as I wanted, and no one could say anything or do anything about it. With other people there are usually so many social and contextual rules around touch and connection, nothing seems as readily available as a hug from your own mom. A lot of times it feels like people come with so much red tape. I’m amazed at how you and your fans have been able to make that deep connection over the internet and how you foster it even in the midst of something so chaotic like the Boston bombings. Your grounded sense of love and understanding that you convey and facilitate for those in your world is truly remarkable. I only hope that everyone should learn the same skills, I definitely hope to. Thank you for doing what you do. It’s truly inspiring.

    • bookwyrm1025

      Noone can ever replace your mom and I am so deeply sorry for your loss. here with AFP is the biggest, longest hug, with no strings, no context but love. {{{{{{{{{HUG}}}}}}}}}}

    • http://revsean.com/ revsparker

      so very sorry for your loss. Know that just as your mom loved and supported you, she would want you to reach out for love and support from everyone you can. This is a big grief and it is okay to need help to get through it. It will take a good long while to find a “new normal.” Never be ashamed to allow yourself to grieve and to ask for the support you need…

  • http://profiles.google.com/mindy.clegg mindy clegg

    Well said. Thanks for being you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1763607065 Tarena Simon

    Someone on Facebook posted that photo, of the runner. No warning, just posted it like it was nothing. And there it was on my news feed this morning. All day it was on my mind, then tonight while I was driving home I thought about the pain he must of been in. I cried out. Loudly. . You hear about tragedies a lot these days, it’s terrible. But these are people in celebration. Happy people filled with joy and it’s taken away by unimaginable pain.

  • http://twitter.com/Embotonre Embot Onre

    So many things to think and say about Boston (I grew up in Plymouth). The biggest thing that hit me immediately was that I know this happens all over the world all the time but seeing the pictures of something that happened here really hit home and made me really realize it again. My heart feels so full -despite the horror and awful reality of the death and awful injuries people sustained- and I tear up when I think about the helpers. It warmed my heart to see the Mr. Rogers quote and Patton Oswalt’s words all over Facebook, etc. I didn’t see a single post looking for retribution and calling for someone to blame in my feed (that I took any notice of anyway), just an outpouring of emotion. It is so helpful (there’s that word again) to think of the loving nature humans are capable of even if it is in the face of something as horrible as this. Your blog and the comments have as always, driven it home.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Ardee.Eichelmann Ardee Eichelmann

    Amanda, your blog post was beautiful. You had me in tears, just as you did yesterday with your Twitter posts. My heart is with Boston, everybody affected by yesterday’s bombing and everyone who is victimized by terrorists of every ilk worldwide. I mourn for humanity because so often it seems that we are destroying ourselves and becoming calloused to each other. These are dark times but we will come through. The light will overcome the darkness. I have to believe that. I refuse to believe that we as a people will allow evil to destroy us. Thank you for your message. From one human to another, namaste, Ardee-ann

  • @kairncreative

    I’ve lived 10yrs in this city, the last 6 months only 4 blocks away from the Pru, 6 from Apple where I worked for 2 yrs. This is home.
    It took over 30min to find my sister visiting for the 1st time since we reconnected. She was on the E-line at Copley as the 2nd explosion went off above her. It took us an hour to track down her 4 kids, there separately with dad & friends.
    My people are OK. I felt as though this horror belongs to the injured the first responders and families, it’s their story to tell, not mine, it would be disrespectful. But, as a community there is a broader tale that needs sharing.
    Explosions happen everywhere- it’s nice to hear someone else say it, and know my realistic 1st reaction didn’t make me a bitch. just honest and quickly just as horrified.
    I don’t watch TV and refuse to get sucked into the hysteria on FB and in media- but sleepless, reading your thoughts, the connection to others I didn’t know I needed or wanted- right here.
    Thank you for that neighbor. xo

  • insignifikunt

    just wrote a lengthy comment and deleted it… i can’t get the words right and it is so frustrating.

    • Tom Coyne

      You don’t need to get it perfect…just get it out of your head.

    • http://revsean.com/ revsparker

      words sometimes fail in the face of irrational acts. but I’m glad you posted this so we know you are out there and feeling it all with us. Together we are stronger.

  • Tom Coyne

    I am the guy who sent you that inital tweet:

    Amanda Palmer
    You need to turn on CNN. Bomb at Boston Marathon.
    12:21 PM – 15 Apr 13

    I am in Long Beach, CA. a long ways from Boston.

    I had just finished working out and turned on the radio. I was surfing Twitter for something totally unrelated when the radio host broke in with the news. A few minutes went by and I noticed that you had tweeted something innocuous a few minutes before.

    It crossed my mind that you had people in Boston, and that you did not know what had happened. I knew you had a pad in the city from your blog, (I actually just watched a news piece on it from 2003 on Youtube a few days ago) but didn’t know how close it was the the race site.

    Another few minutes went by. I thought there might be some related news on your feed. Nothing.

    Was it possible that you didn’t know yet??

    I don’t claim to know you. I know some ppl you know, met you once, and saw you at the Roxy in July. But for a second yesterday, you were the one person I knew in Boston…someone who was literally starring at the Twitter feed at the same time as me..,and I knew something you needed to know. I am not happy that is was THAT news. Anything would have been better.

    As the day wore on I stayed on your feed and used the linked news sources that you and others provided. Something very interesting was going on. sort of CALM.

    I remember being shell shocked after 9/11 and hearing so many stories on TV. The story was always changing because no one really new what was going on. I remember a few day late an Indian Shiek in the mid-west was killed by someone who mistook him for an Arab. Wrong. Ignorant. Infuriating.

    Even back after the Oklahoma City Bombing, people in Los Angeles were surrounding local Mosque with misdirected blame.

    But this time felt different. The steady stream of post and the call for SOURCES kept the info more on point, less fear based. It really felt like a bunch of people in a public square, really trying to get a sense of what was happening. Not…reacting.

    A bit later, this post from TSOL singer (and fellow LBC resident) Jack Grisham came on the screen and encapsulated it all so perfectly:

    “And if I don’t comment it doesn’t mean I don’t care,it means I’ll wait and see–too many people are too quick to react when patience and prudence would be best…”

    Word.

    Trying to make sense out of the senseless is hard enough with out fear charged hyperbole and mis-information. Sometimes you just gotta shut up and listen. Staying here…in your town square…made it at least possible to stay calm. For that I say “Thank You”.

    I went to work later to teach autistic kids how to play drums. I was glad to know that they had no idea was had happened, that not everyone was good, and that sometimes bad shit happens. We played along to Lady GaGa for for a few minutes, humanity was winning again.

    Keep Running for sure.

    Tom

    LBC

  • http://twitter.com/mikeke352 Michael Anthony

    I’ve lived in Denver, Colorado for almost 5 years now, but I grew up about 30 minutes north of Boston and many friends/all my family are there. I found out about what happened right as I was getting ready to leave my apartment to go to a College class and I just went into emotional/psychological shock. I had so many people to call and tweet and Facebook.

    My dad is Auxiliary police for Boston and I knew he would be covering the Marathon part of the day. I waited around 30 minutes to finally get a call back saying he was ok, and it hurt. the fear hurt. In my chest, in my head, in my stomach. Those 30 minutes of waiting felt like days but when I found out he was ok, and later several friends I cried. I was so happy and relieved, but i stll felt so heavy. Then I turned to twitter. I saw all the things people were doing, and I cried a bit again. The list of people offering places to stay was so long, and so many people offered help, it’s truly enlightening. It sings to the soul. I had Amanda’s songs, “boston” and “Sing in my head.

    Yesterday I had a huge loss in my faith in humanity but I soon saw the amount of love, devotion, and care put out in my home city, and I gained back all that faith. maybe more.
    There is always love in the worls and I am eternally grateful for that.

  • Street Theater

    If one regards acts of terrorism as a
    kind of performance violence, one can accept the notion that the act
    itself is the point. A terrorist event is like street theater, meant to
    draw the witnesses and all of us who witness it vicariously through
    television, internet, and other media, into the reality of cosmic war
    that the perpetrators themselves imagine. They want us to see the world
    the way they see it: not normal, not business as usual, but a world at
    war.

    Sadly, they are to some extent
    successful. To the degree that we are frightened and disturbed by their
    terrorist acts, and approach normal life with fear—even something as
    joyous and life-affirming as a marathon race—we have been forced into
    their perception of a life in cosmic war.

    http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/atheologies/7038/who_bombed_the_boston_marathon/

  • http://twitter.com/OrlaJoNotDead Orla-Jo Duill

    Even though Dublin is a long way away from Boston we really felt it here because everyone knows someone who has family or a friend in Boston. Not much we can do but send our love. And then you hear around the death all over the world and you wish you felt the same emotional connection to all death, because it’s all loss, but you can’t and it’s for the best. Humans have an amazing capacity for love and for loss but there comes a point when you’d explode if you felt it all.

    Love from Ireland xxx

  • http://www.facebook.com/kate.mccallum.37 Kate McCallum

    I am a long way from Boston, I feel tremendously sad. I will have the chance for yoga practice in the morning and dedicate to people who have lost theirs the joy of health, safety, arms and legs.

  • Leila M

    So glad you and Neil are OK.

    I don’t understand how people can do things like this to other people. Period.

  • Jacqueline

    People who think they can achieve anything by such acts of violence don’t understand humanity. Tragedy brings people together, makes them stronger and more determined to stand up for their rights and their beliefs.
    There will be a fair few people running on behalf of those in Boston in this weekend’s London Marathon. We’re thinking about you all on the other side of the world.

  • http://twitter.com/namelessw0nder Tasha

    Feeling alone and pathetic for how sad I am over this happening. I’ve been pretty non-functional since it happened. Keep wondering what kind of excuse I could give to leave work. Keep trying to hold back tears.

    My family is safe. My friends are safe. I don’t know any of the people who were injured or killed. Crying, reading stores, reading the news, feeling sad about how ANGRY people are. Nothing is helping. I could use a hug.

    • http://revsean.com/ revsparker

      (hug) Some folks are deeply sensitive and tender and that is a good thing, even though it’s not valued or understood in our culture. Be gentle with yourself and bring that tenderness to the world. We need it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=677165562 Ellen Left Eye Schinderman

    thank you for being you and doing/saying what you do.

  • M.Ford

    On a day like this there are no Democrats, no Republicans, no Americans…only humans. And a few monsters.

  • http://twitter.com/VictoriaElena_ Victoria Elena

    I really am grateful that there are people like you in the world who are able to remind us that things will be okay and that there are still good people in the world. It was the two instagram photos you posted after your two minutes of silence that kind of shook me out of the fear I’d been feeling all day. Then you posted links to these two blog posts and for some reason, I felt safer realizing that there was a place I could connect with to learn about the news instead of sitting at home watching the news alone. Connecting is so, so important. Thank you for reminding me.

  • http://twitter.com/XenMedia Chris Emmerson

    I thank you very much. In these dark times, we need to be reminded of all the very good and positive people out there, and that there really is lots of room for hope. Love you very much xx

  • http://twitter.com/JoeBrewer1 Joe Brewer

    I work at a newspaper and on a typical day off I am in a self-imposed news blackout. Such a day was Monday, when in the middle of the afternoon (West Coast) I turn on the television to watch a movie and there it was, another reminder of the madness in our world. And with all the madness comes the greatness of spirit, the helpers. The madness, the kindness, the madness, the kindness, like the tide of insanity-humanity that makes up our world. I like your blog, your thoughts, your images. Thanks for this.

  • mfskarphedin3

    I would love to see something like this announced in the near future:

    “AP, Boston: AFP/Dresden Dolls give back to their hometown by packing local Boston area venues with benefit concerts for victims of the Boston Marathon Bombings. All proceeds donated to local area rescue/disaster/crisis services.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaxMIOE8-J8
    (copyright respective artists)

  • Aussie

    Amanda even in tragedy you are inspiring – may these evil fiends be caught

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1369227467 Nelie Rea

    I didn’t click through to the graphic photos. Things like that give me nightmares. Thank you both for providing the link and giving your readers the choice not to see them. And thank you for explaining patriots day to all the people who don’t know. I grew up in Concord. The fact that this happened on patriots day, as well as the OKC bombing 1 years ago, feels very VERY personal to me too!

  • http://tanyas13sonnets.com/ Tanya Speed

    Last night I wanted a pillow… a teddy bear….I felt helpless. I was at work. Had to be at work. Reading CNN, ABC, Reuters …switching back and forth between news sources and listening to friends at work talk about how things are just getting worse. A line from one of your songs kept reminding me that it is ok. “Even though the world’s so bad, these men rush out to help the dying and though I am no use to them, I do my part by simply smiling.” You are a comfort. Thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/lastnite1794 Gabriel Ferri

    I really did not know how to feel about the whole thing before I read this blog. I had just finished the Kite Runner (amazing read) and learned in detail about countries that go through things like this every day. How we as “Americans” are really lucky in comparison. But still this is part of my home and I wanted to feel something. Your words finally grounded me. I could finally feel that collective sadness we are all feeling. So thank you for the perspective and graphic pictures.

  • Annika

    I’m far from well-knowing about American… What to call it… Culture?? Is it a culture of the most powerful and in many ways most evolved countries in the world to have attacks like this? Oh well, what I was wondering was, shortly: why Boston? Does anyone who lives/lived or knows about the city more than I do know any specific reason for this to happen right there? 9/11 was more obvious – New York, Penthagon, etc etc. We (Sweden) had our own suicide bomber a couple years ago (he blew himself up on the biggest shopping street of Stockholm just as the christmas shopping were on its highest), luckily he was unsuccessful and only blew himself up and didn’t hurt anyone else. He was on his way to the city central (where I met up Jason Webley as he was doing his first Sweden/Stockholm gig the year after the bomb) to hurt and kill as many as possible but his bomb belt was uncomfortable, so he went to a corner of a calmer street to fix it. Then he unintentionally set it off. No one deserves to die, but I can’t help but to kinda laugh at that now after ca 3 years. OH WELL, what I was gonna say is, he had his “reasons” – our part in the Afganistan war, we supposedly (I trust no government and what they say, especially in wartimes)only have medical aid/help troups there but he wanted us to keep out of it I guess. Stockholm is the capital and the biggest city in Swe as well as the home of most government organisations, our military base etc. so that was obvious. But… Why Boston? Was it just convenient with Patriots day and the Marathon?

  • http://tanyas13sonnets.com/ Tanya Speed

    I really wish there was a site where I could get updates from the citizens of Boston of what they see and what they know so I could get a true idea of what is going on and process it correctly. When the explosions happened in tx, I was following CNN, ABC, and Thompson Reuters….and I was shocked at how CNN was making false reports about what was going on…. so last night all I had was CNN and my friends who were getting their news from CNN. I came to the comments in this thread bc you people actually speak in truths. Is there a forum online or some link I can go that is not CNN that will give me straight up facts of what is going on in Boston?

  • http://www.facebook.com/kelly.adlington.33 Kelly Adlington

    Like always, your blogs are inspiring. Thank you for sharing your stories with us.

  • GW

    Found you through your poem and reaction to others reactions. Thank you for forming the words.