Photo by Lucky Tran; Illuminations by @NYClightbrigade and @illuminator99
I’m not a runner. Just a sister to runners. Proud by proxy. In my estimation, there is only one reason to stand at a marathon finish line. It is to feel your heart swell. To feel it thrum steadily and then fill suddenly with a burst of astonishment and compassion and pride so great that you can physically feel it.
Watching runners cross the finish line is to be reminded of the strength of the human spirit; the persistent keeping-on that we manage by miracle over and over again. At a marathon, the demonstration of will and strength is elective, mostly. Runners set a challenge for themselves and they set out to meet it. And when they do, and even if they don’t, there are heart swells.
In these next few days, and in the months and years that will follow, we will see a similar kind of strength. Tragically, it will likely not come with the hoots and hollers that you find at the end of a finish line, but we will take lessons from that place. We will buoy each other up, press ahead, face each new day with fortitude that didn’t seem possible the day before. We will make like the marathoners and carry on.
In the wake of yesterday’s senseless bombings at the Boston Marathon, I find comfort in knowing that the scores of people who were there–and likely all of the people who were injured and killed–had come together because of a common desire to bear witness to the strength and vitality of human beings.
Last night, a series of illuminations were projected against the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Simple messages of love and hope for Boston. These make for heart swells, too.
Absolutely beautiful sentiment. In Paris, our hearts swell with you.
Really beautiful post and thoughtful reflection. I think it takes a very articulate and intelligent person to transition from that speechless state of shock, disappointment and disgust to insightful reflections like the post you wrote above – well done. Thanks for sharing.
This is a beautiful post. Thank you <3
really beautifully written, thanks for sharing.
I do run, and reading posts like this makes me so happy. You did such a great job at writing this and it's absolutely beautiful. Reaching the finish line in any event is the happiest moment in the world, it's such a beautiful struggle to get there, to finish and it's hard to believe that someone would bomb a finish line.
Thank you so much!
Perfectly said. Thank you.
thank you for those beautiful words.
This is beautiful, Erin. Everything I wanted to say, but didn't know how. xo
Absolutely beautiful. Love the support and stillness of the image
Perfectly articulated Erin. xo
This is a lovely post. Fitting words for a beautiful NY gesture and photo. Thanks Erin.
I've been trying to put my feelings into words. This worked wonderfully.
your way with words is perfection my friend.
Beautiful words, I was so sad to see it – broke my heart for sure. Again. 🙁
This is a great post. Just now I was crying because I kept thinking of what happened at the marathon, but your post made me feel a little better.
Thank you so much for posting this. Being from Boston and living away from my beloved Boston and my beloved New England, I am at lost for words. My mind cannot wrap around what has happened.
Thank you New York!!!! Thank you Erin!!! Thank you Everyone!
Beautifully put, Erin. And thank you for sharing the photo.
Beautiful words, Erin! I really love the illuminations, so simple yet so strong!
in wholehearted agreement.
Beautiful post. Every word: so true.
It's heartwarming to see so much love come out of this tragedy. x
Erin, the finish line of a race is one of the few moments that guarantee a heart swell for me too!
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