Apr 262016

Pracha-Cloud in the dark night 8
“Cloud in the dark night 8” by Pracha


When I  wrote the last post with the title of “Blog Break”, I was off in a magnificent part of Montana partaking in a boondoggle for my day job. The explanation for this one is a tragedy.

On my last night in Montana I found out that one of my closest friends had been broadsided in her car by a Seattle emergency vehicle flying through a red light at a downtown intersection. She was uninjured — except for head trauma that required emergency brain surgery on Sunday night.

I flew home Monday morning and spent most of yesterday at a hospital ICU, watching her lie there on a respirator and feeding tube in a coma, trying to be supportive of her husband and parents. I felt sick beyond repair inside, and still do. She gave birth to her third child last fall.  I guess he’s about eight months old now.

It’s too soon to know anything about her path to recovery, or about the extent of the damage to her brain; it’s intact, but there was massive bleeding. She may recover fully, or she may have deficits. The brain is such a mystery.

I’m tired of visiting people I love in the hospital. I’m tired of seeing good people mangled, comatose, and dying. I’m tired of watching their families weep. I’m tired of crying myself.

It happens every day, of course, and in horrifying numbers around the world. I’m only speaking about my own experience over the last couple of years. Many people have lived through similar experiences. Many of you have. There’s no rhyme or reason to it, there’s no design or logic, it’s been happening as long as life has existed. We’re just evolved enough to think to ourselves, this isn’t right.


Pacha-Cloud in the dark night 7
“Cloud in the dark night 7” by Pracha

I’ll be spending more time at the hospital in the coming days, until my friend wakes up, and after that. Metal is a big part of what keeps me sane from day to day, so I won’t be abandoning NCS altogether — and thankfully, my comrades are stepping up and sending me good stuff to post while I’m keeping a vigil in that hospital. But at least for a little while, I probably won’t be writing as much as usual.

It does no good to remind people to treasure the moments you have with the people you love before horror intrudes, because human beings aren’t made that way. If we lived in fear of tragedy — if we truly lived every moment as if it were our last (or the last moment of the people we are with) —  I guess we’d still be hanging out with lemurs up in the trees or dodging lions on the savannah.

So there’s no moral to this story, and I’m not inclined toward preaching anyway. I just have to get this off my chest.


I have an almost absurdly sunny, optimistic disposition. I tend to react to tragedy by focusing on what I can do to make it better. But when I do get brought to my knees by the shit that happens to other people, I turn to music. I suspect different people are drawn to different kinds of music at times like these.  I’d guess that some people want something that lifts them up. I’m one of those people who wants music that matches how they feel — and in this case music that also finds some beauty amidst the ugliness.

And because I’m still loathe to post anything without music, here’s what I’m listening to right now, one older song from Four Phantoms by Bell Witch and two newer ones, one from the forthcoming album Heartworn by Minnesota’s Mur and a movement from Sorrow – A Reimagining of Gorecki’s Third Symphony by Montréal’s Colin Stetson.

As always, I welcome your comments.





  12 Responses to “BLOG BREAK (PART 2)”

  1. Man, my thoughts go out to you and all yr friends and all families involved.
    Powerful wishes for a quick and simple recovery!!

  2. Damn, I wish you her (and you) all the best. Take as much time as you need – we’ll be here whenever you’re ready.

  3. Man…cant tell you how sorry I am to read this. All my best to you, youre friend and her family…I truly hope for a speedy recovery for her, with minimal complications.

    In the meantime, please take whatever time you need…this is certainly more important than anything else right now

  4. Hey man. Much love and respect, you know from our talks I’ve been hit hard by loss too. I’ll do my part to at least aide the site with some content for now. Hope your friend improves.

  5. Sorry to hear about this =[ Whenever you’re ready to come back in full, you’ll have the same great community waiting for you with open arms and ears. My thoughts are with you and your friend.

  6. So sorry to hear about your friend, how horrible. Hoping for a strong recovery.

  7. Best wishes to everyone involved. Music helps. Friends help. Sounds like you’re helping as much as you can, too. Keep on.

  8. i am very grateful to all of you for your concern and your solidarity with me. This kind of community is the best thing about our site, and it means a lot to me. My friend is still in a coma, but no worse (which is a good thing with these kinds of injuries). It’s a waiting game.

  9. I’m very sorry for your friend, her family and of course for you. Good hopes and wishes from across the Atlantic to you all.

  10. Holy shit. I hope she recovers, not only for her but for the wellbeing, and sanity, of her husband and children, and you. I’ve actually got an honours degree in neuroscience, and taught medical students neuroanatomy for a time. But I can’t offer any support on that front – I think you hit the nail on the head when you said it’s a mystery.

    I had been meaning to write a brief snippet after your last blog break post. I’ll get onto it and hopefully have it to you soon.

  11. My words would only serve as a repetition of all the heartfelt greetings here, but may she recover, and do take your time!

  12. Sad story, I hope for the best, for you and your friend, take all the time you need. I will waiting patiently like the rest of this community for your return, I won’t write anything else today.

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