Last evening, I got a depressed, mouth filled with sawdust feeling. I didnít do much, I did some yoga and then read for awhile.

I went to bed with the feeling. I woke up with the feeling. This morning, I saw the news about the bridge collapse. At the time, they were reporting only six people dead. I was relieved. Six seemed like a tiny number considering how bad it could have been.

Then later, when I checked the news again, and the death toll changed to 4, with an estimate of 20-30 missing. I realized that even if your car is at the bottom of the Mississippi with a slab of concrete on top of it, youíre still considered just ďmissing,Ē until they haul out the body.

Even if they are just ďmissing,Ē I have a pretty good idea of the state theyíre probably in.

I lived in Minneapolis for six years prior to moving here. The company I worked for is located right next to this bridge. Friends and coworkers used this bridge daily. I used this bridge daily.

Lots of people used it daily. As a matter of fact, so many people use it, itís unlikely that I anyone I know would have been on it, despite the proximity.

I sent out emails, I heard back from everyone except people from work. This isnít a big deal. Most people donít check their personal email until the evening.

For some reason, I have a terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. I have no idea why. Maybe in my older, more stable life, Iím becoming more prone to hysteria.

In this world of communications technology, weíre constantly getting news about one disaster or another. Numbers of people whoíve died recently are constantly rolling in from one news source or another. For me, in most cases thereís a disconnect. I donít really think much about it.

This time, I seem to be lacking that disconnect.

Iíve been having trouble concentrating all day. I have karate tonight.

I really kicked you-know-what on Tuesday. I donít know how well Iíll do tonight, but this past week, my karate master has been talking about putting me in black belt training. This will be time-consuming and draining, but I think itís probably for the best.

Besides, kicking you-know-what, I also got indirectly reprimanded for hugging my opponent after a fight. I've been reprimanded for this before, even hugging people during fights because I felt bad for knocking the wind out of them.

I wonder how many karate practitioners who have both been disqualified for excessive contact and reprimanded for hugging?

Oh, and I added a link to a comments tool. I don't know if it's a great idea, but it's there. Time will tell. I can always take it out.

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Thursday, Aug. 02, 2007 at 4:51 PM