on rescue…

When you think about a waking day, a lot of words pass through ones mind. Some words are destined to be spoken, some not. Some of the words are part of a more complex inner thought. Thoughts that really only happen when it gets quiet enough that the world outside isn’t grabbing our attention for one reason or another.

Along this line of words some stick out.

Over the last few days I’ve become aware of the word “rescue” maybe because I was thinking of the people who fly for the Coast Guard, maybe because I was thinking about applying sensor networks for finding people trapped in big debris fields like the one from this week’s tornadoes in Ohio and Michigan. There’s probably other reasons, but I’m thinking about that one word “rescue.”

The Oxford English Dictionary (where else can one start?) defines rescue as “save” and then “from a dangerous or distressing situation.”

Pretty simple. Actually there may not be enough here to write about, but lets see if its possible to drone on for a bit, something might pop up.

Another context where rescue popped up this last week was in the music that my “genius” app on the ipod put together for me. It put two songs together back to back that I wouldn’t have, but maybe Steve Jobs has somehow canned a real genius and put them in an app? The first song was “Love Story” performed by Taylor Swift, followed by the classic Motown hit “Rescue Me” performed by Fontella Bass. Both are less about dangerous and more about distressing situations which seems to be the tricky thing about rescue.

Its not hard to imagine being saved from one distressing situation only to find oneself in another. Kind of “out of the frying pan into the fire.” Both songs focus on the moment of rescue…and from what? Being alone.

Following the logic, being alone must be the distressing situation, and I can see there’s something to that. Maybe not completely a good idea, to see someone else as more interesting to be around than ourselves. But, it could be parts of us want someone else to tell us, we’re interesting and good people, parts of us want to find a way to be more than we’re able to be on our own, and can’t figure out what that means. Having another person around lets us see the world from another perspective. That’s pretty reasonable sounding, especially if the two people share that outlook.

But at the root of the rescue question lies the question. Did we get ourselves in a dangerous or distressing situation and now want someone else to extract us so we don’t have to do it ourselves? Sometimes danger comes at us from outside, and sometimes the the most reasonable person can’t see far enough ahead to not get caught in the flood, fire, hurricane, earthquake…. I can see that. But when the danger or distress comes from the inside, its a different story.

At that moment, when the little voice inside starts saying “rescue me,” its time to cowboy up, look in the mirror and realize nobody but the reflection can save you (vampires and various forms of undead excepted.)

It wouldn’t be as good a song for Fontella Bass to sing “grow with me” or “build with me” but might be the right sentiment. Then again, who doesn’t like the moment when the two are visible in the fog, one on a knee, holding the other’s hand, the thin loop of gold flashing in the morning sun. I haven’t found that in the Oxford English Dictionary yet, but there’s a lot of time in the quiet of Brook Hollow, so I’ll go turn a few more pages and see what jumps out at me.

Be good, enjoy some time alone if there’s time, take care of each other, don’t forget the one in the mirror.

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