> jumping into life.

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The snarl of jets flying low and fast put me on edge all last week. I found myself shrinking down each time they passed overhead, the way I do in a parking garage with a low ceiling or when I go through a tunnel on a rollercoaster: even though I know it makes no difference, my body doesn't want my head to get lopped off. The sound made me anxious. It is a sound of warfare. On Saturday night, the belly-deep bass of detonations made me look up from my book, curious and then uneasy. Maybe music? Not music. Explosion. Somehow the obvious explanation evaded me, and I padded downstairs in my slippers to find someone awake. What is exploding? Do you hear it? Can you feel it? He chuckled: fireworks. Go up to the roof.

And indeed there they were, off over the bay.

How strange that the sound of jets and explosions in the middle of our city doesn't send us running for cover. How strange that we engage in mock-battles for entertainment, send explosives into the sky for celebration.

Not that I don't understand the desire to see power on display. Not that I don't enjoy fireworks. It's just strange. I've lost whatever it is that allowed it not to be strange.