When someone is hurting, the first thing they must do is answer the question, "Are you alright?" It's call and response, a ping-pong of language, a catechism of guilt performed. The wounded answers between clenched teeth, "I'm fine, I'm fine. Really." Then the business of caring can take place. We will ride our invisible horses into the wind. But we are truer to the earth of which we are made to say, "There is a deep abyss here that I must climb out of — help me." There is a silence when we reach someone that is better than words. The silence of grasses moved by the breeze. The silence of a hand laid against a cheek. The silence of a blanket laid over one's feet. It's true: shock rises like heat off the pavement. We come from a far place in the wake of an afterthought. How will our minds grow into our bodies? But attention surely must be paid. Forgive us our laggard ways — how we now live — we are asked to live faster than sound, reaction crucifying perception.