On a chilly spring day with lots of us glued to screens – computer and television and iPhone – watching the strange, sad and shocking saga in Boston, the effect of physical distance from that story can be an interesting prism.
Some might think Memphians will respond by simply going home at the end of the last work day, closing the door and bidding goodbye to this week.
Some will, but some won’t.
Some already made their way out earlier today to pick up Grizzlies “swag” at FedExForum to prepare for the upcoming NBA playoff games.
Still others will gather at the Overton Park Rainbow Lake pavilion at around 6:15 p.m. for what has turned into a tribute run for Boston that is usually a post-Boston Marathon gathering by Breakaway Running for those who have returned to the city from an event that is usually a much more personal milestone and achievement.
The Memphis event normally draws around 70. Just a few hours before what is this year a tribute run, also organized by Breakaway, approximately 500 had RSVPd according to Tina Sullivan, of the Overton Park Conservancy, which is helping Breakaway by donating the use of the pavilion.
The gathering demonstrates another kind of distance, how far we have been as a nation in that short span of time since the start of the Boston Marathon Monday morning.
Whether this weekend is a time to escape the events of the week or a time to try to put them in perspective perhaps we can come together on something very basic – just to try to be kinder to each other no matter what our plans may be this weekend.
Maybe that is how the way forward begins.