A car collides into cyclists participating in a race in Mexico's northern border city of Matamoros on Sunday. One rider died, ten are injured.
This is extreme ugliness, man made ugliness as it always is. How can I write about a such a tragedy in a positive light? The answer is I can’t, but I can at least try.
A man paints a building pristine and white, and along comes a graffiti artist in the night and creates ugliness on one tiny corner of the building.
The owner of the building must go out the very next day and paint over the offending graffiti. If he doesn’t other graffiti artists will come and before long the beauty of the building will be destroyed.
For most reading this, the incident didn’t even happen in our country, so we can’t protest to our government. All we can do is paint over it and not allow it to spoil the beauty of the thing we love, namely cycling.
That doesn’t mean we ignore it and pretend it didn’t happen. The man who has to go out and repaint his building is neither ignoring it, nor pretending it didn’t happen. But he must deal with it, what else can he do?
Those who knew the cyclist that died will suffer the most, along with the people injured and their friends and relatives. Those of us who didn’t know them personally will suffer to a lesser degree, but never-the-less suffer.
Those completely detached from our sport will read the report and look at the sensational picture above and simply remark, “Will you look at that.”
Just as someone detached will drive by a building covered in graffiti and make a similar remark. One block further on they have forgotten about it. Those who care will not forget.
I hope no one comments here that graffiti has a beauty of its own. I am not writing about graffiti, it is just a metaphor. There will no doubt be those who even see beauty in the above picture as the riders and their bikes fly through the air in some grotesque ballet.
That is if they forget at the precise moment the camera froze this moment in time, someone died, and others were experiencing extreme physical pain.
The picture is ugly, the incident was ugly. It is impossible to write about such ugliness and make it pretty, any more than it is possible to write about it and make it go away.