The explosion in our circle last Thursday has taught me a few things about myself and my relationship to my world. I’m troubled by some things I’ve identified.

My first thought was for our safety. Even before I knew the location of the blast, the jolt frightened me. As I reflect on that feeling, I realize there are people right now in countries with turmoil for whom blasts are ever-present. Can one ever become accustomed to sounds of destruction? To bombs and gunfire and the chaos and terror of not feeling safe. Must that be reality?

As the afternoon wore on, I focused on our granddaughters’ visit which always brings us joy. The girls are sensitive, bright, seem to enjoy our company, and make music for hours with piano, guitar, and harmony. I can add a few low notes to the singing, and I never tire of it. The big bang and its aftermath made it all about me. I didn’t know whether the neighbor was alive or not, but I thought about myself. I’m not proud of that.

The increasing gun culture and the mass shootings reside at the edge of my reality; I tremble when an annoyed motorist honks his horn at me as I follow the speed limit: road rage. I worry about being places with large crowds that could be targeted. My world gets smaller and smaller. I resent that.

I’ve always seen the glass half full in the past. I want to regain that confidence in humanity that made anything possible. I’ll keep working on it.