Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Thoughts on Columbia Help Clarify My Questions' Answers

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Thoughts on Columbia Help Clarify My Questions' Answers

Article excerpt

Byline: Paula Suhey, Times-Union staff writer

Have you given up thinking?

That's a question I got the week of Jan. 27 when I didn't post an online column.

No, I still was thinking plenty. I guess I was so busy thinking that I didn't have a chance to put my thoughts on a screen.

What have I been thinking about? Basically, what I should be doing with the rest of my life.

Part of the answer to this question is becoming clearer, and the loss of the space shuttle Columbia and its crew has been an indicator in this. Nomatter what career path I might end up on (and isn't it weird to be this old and still be concerned about a career path), I know writing is a part of what I have to do.

On both of my desks, in my automobile and in every room of my house is a book with a pen attached -- so that I can write down any thought I have that I think someone else needs to know.

So it was that Feb. 1 I put some of my thoughts on paper.

Two days later, I reviewed some of the things I wrote and realized I am continuing to identify what I am supposed to be doing with my life.

I in no way diminish the sadness and grief the families of the astronauts must endure. I know the pain of losing someone with no warning. I am sorry for their loss.

Here are some of the things I wrote:

Once again, our nation is gathering around what appears to be a composite television set.

We are looking over each other's shoulder reading what the newspaper reports of a disaster.

It seems inhumane somewhat. And yet we have a thirst -- almost unquenchable -- for details and pictures when something of this magnitude happens.

Although only a minute portion of our nation has suffered immediate loss, an entire nation and even an entire world will share a corporate grief.

Our hearts are saddened. Seven lives -- gone.

"We died doing what we wanted to do" are the words we think we hear those seven astronauts say as with their extraordinary sense of exploration, they take their leave.

Journalists rush to ask questions -- the answers they will share via a television or radio broadcast or with words on a page. …

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