Such a dreadful event, yesterday's plane crash in the French Alps. So many young lives lost... Images from the site show nothing but small fragments left of what was once a jetliner. The impact must have been one of unimaginable force.
I find myself fixating on those last eight minutes, from the time the plane started its "controlled descent" from 38,000 feet. No word from the pilots. No distress call. What could have been happening in that cockpit? And were the passengers aware, for those eight minutes, that their plane was headed for destruction? They must have been wondering, at the very least, why they were headed so soon toward the ground.
Impossible to imagine how much they knew and what they felt as those 150 human beings hurtled toward their death. I try to place myself in one of their seats, with full awareness, and use those minutes in meditation to prepare myself for the end of my own life on earth...
But it's a fantasy, of course. Easy for me, sitting quietly, out of harm's way, in my living room. Well, not easy, even so. But relatively benign, without the terror I would surely have experienced in that circumstance, had I been aware of what was happening.
To say "my heart goes out" to the victims and their families seems an inadequate expression, but we have little more than this cliché. To empathize, as I try to do in meditation, feels equally inadequate. To try to rationalize... impossible. There is no sense, no justice to be found in disasters of this kind. Just human tragedy.