Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Survival on the highway

Sometimes, we're just plain lucky, as Dennis Jerz and his wonderful little family were on father's day. Walking away from a dreadful accident, knowing you and all you love could have been dead, together with potentially scores of strangers, if it had just happened a little before or a little after, is an experience that makes you treasure life. Reading about survival in the weblog of a person so far away drives home how we identify and grow close to the people we communicate with and who are open and willing to communicate with us.

And although Dennis insists on maintaining a meta-level to his experience, and claims his description is a bad essay because he doesn't convey emotion in the writing, I find he does, and strongly. Perhaps you need to enjoy the matter-of-fact style of the sagas to understand what I mean, but look at the things he is focusing on: only a man in shock, reaching for his skill, competence and the safety of his profession will do things like analyse his own narrative of the crash, consider the genre choices of reading for his little daughter while waiting for the ambulance, comment on how he has adjusted the picture to make it more aesthetically pleasing and pointing out that his aesthetic faculties are still working despite the shock. More likely it worked because of the shock, letting him be the strong, capable father until everybody are safe, the emergency is over and it's possible to process emotions without making bad worse.

Which, being a cold Scandinavian who considers being reasonable in the face of chaos as one of the main virtues, I think is an admirable reaction.

And yes, Dennis, I am very, very happy you are all alive and well.

1 comment:

Dennis G. Jerz said...

Because I started keeping a journal when I was about 13, I have developed the capacity to analyze while in the midst of a crisis -- or at least, what passed a crisis during my sheltered youth: athletes threaten to beat me up in the cafeteria, or the girl had pursued for five months dumps me for my best friend. Who knows how I would have reacted if anyone had been killed or seriously hurt... fortunately, I had the luxury of being able to think about how my behavior would affect how my kids would remember the event.