Keep on Running. Of Course.

The best lines I’ve read on the Boston Marathon since yesterday.

The Onion – (satirical)

“Devices going off in trash cans, a citywide search for other deadly explosives, misinformation at the time of the attack, calling friends and making sure they are still alive, cell phone service being knocked out, images of someone in shock because they’ve just lost their limbs, and being overtaken by an overwhelming feeling of helplessness are all reportedly just part of how the world is now.”

Kathryn Schulz – NY Magazine

“[R]unning is a decent litmus test of the freedom of an individual and a society. To be a runner, you must have the right to go out in public, the right to make your own decisions about your body, the right to choose what you wear, the right to decide how to spend your days — plus enough freedom from want to have at least a modicum of leisure time, and enough freedom from fear to go outside alone.”

Erin Gloria Ryan – Jezebel

“One of the many puzzling aspects of yesterday’s attacks was the question of what, exactly, the perpetrators thought they’d accomplish by targeting what basically amounts to a celebration of human tenacity. If anything, the tragedy in Boston will further solidify the bond between runner and spectator. And when the Chicago marathon happens this October, I’ll show up to run harder, and they’ll show up to cheer louder. If anyone thought this attack would discourage the runners or the watchers, they’ve clearly never been to a marathon.”

Jeffrey Goldberg – Bloomberg

“The race will only be marred if its organizers — and Boston’s police and civic leaders — allow themselves to let this event alter the way they stage the race. Next year’s Boston Marathon can be a triumph. But as the people of Jerusalem (and New York and London and many other cities) have learned, merely carrying out daily responsibilities, and refusing to yield to panic, becomes a triumph all its own.”

Paul Flannery – SBNation

“They, or whoever, tried to take that from us. Fuck that. We’ll be out there again next year and the year after that and the year after that. We’ll train longer and harder and more of us will run. The rest of us will be out on the route, cheering like mad for our friends and family and people we’ve never met.”

Jian Ghomeshi – CBC Radio Audio Essay

“[C]ome next year, or even next race, next city, next morning jog, the only thing to do will be to gather again, dig deep, and run.

Ezra Klein – Washington Post

“If you are losing faith in human nature today, watch what happens in the aftermath of an attack on the Boston Marathon. The flood of donations crashed the Red Cross’s Web site. The organization tweeted that its blood supplies are already full. People are lining up outside of Tufts Medical Center to try and help. Runners are already vowing to be at marathons in the coming weeks and months. This won’t be the last time the squeakers run Boston. This won’t be the last time we gather at the finish line to marvel how much more we can take than anyone ever thought possible.”



Jan. 14 – Watertown, Mass., U.S.A 

Yesterday, I added the Republic of Ireland to the list of countries I have sort-of been to on this journey.

South Korea: did not set foot on land, or get passport stamped, but I was dockside for long enough to smell two ports.

Mongolia: 24 hours on a train passing through, including a half-hour on the train platform in Ulan Bator, and eating in the Mongolian dining car.

Czech Republic, Austria, Belgium, France: loitering at train stations waiting for connections, and/or watching the countryside pass for two hours or less

Now I have a green stamp in my passport. Dublin airport was like all other western airports; antiseptic-smelling and metallic, efficient in theory, a security theatre. Its only concessions to Irishness were its subtle green decor, and the east European Aer Lingus staff.

No one wanted to go to Boston, it seemed, as I looked around the two-thirds-empty Airbus. I settled into “On Request” viewing of a Showtime TV series, which reduced the flight’s tedium. The Massachusetts coast finally appeared, lake-speckled, and the plane touched down buffeted by strong headwinds. I collected my suitcase from the luggage carousel and stepped out into the cold night.

There is no snow here, but it is frigid nonetheless. Despite the brilliant sunshine today, theBeantowners have stayed inside. A few exceptions, actually –  hardy runners along the Charles, and Patriots fans getting supplies for tonight’s all-important football game.

I leave Boston tomorrow afternoon, on my way to Ontario in a roundabout way.