Can you in any way imagine what those poor men trapped in the Chilean mine have gone through? I suppose in order to be a miner in the first place one has to be fairly inured to claustrophobia, but still…
And it makes me wonder, when these men get pulled one by one up the rescue capsule, is the fact that the walls of rock really will be in their face during the ascent going to make a difference? Or will claustrophobia be outweighed by the thought of freedom? At a rational level I would think it would, but fear, even latent fear, is not always rational.
Jerry and I were discussing this, and of course he is so pragmatic about everything. He deals with “ramifications” and “possibilities” and “probabilities” in the manner of an engineer – that is to say, if his slide rule won’t give him an answer, then obviously there is no question. Me, I want to gather all the ramifications, possibilities and probabilities, along with a few other “speculative -ties” that I can come up with, and handle them one by one like the Turks handle worry beads. I want to run them through my fingers, mull over them, debate them, try them out for size, postulate and then come to a conclusion. Jerry and I usually end up in the same place, or find an acceptable spot that we can agree on. And of course most often we are talking about things of no effect whatsoever, but at least it keeps us talking.
I told Jerry that if I were in the mine and getting ready to be hauled to the surface in a cage after 66 days underground, I’d want a blindfold on to thwart any claustrophobia and most importantly a MP3 player and buds in my ears while I listened to the William Tell Overture at top volume. The blindfold and the MP3 player could be sent down to the next miner. Tell me that’s not a good idea!!!! It’s hope and expectation and confidence personified!
I think of these men all the time. And by extension all the men (and women, if there are any) everywhere who make their living in this awful way. I wish each one a safe return, a healthy life, and to know that the whole world, as much as possible, are with them in spirit as this part of their journey is coming to a close.