Powder-blue skies of a snowy day. Sun- a small miracle.
But everywhere, the news. I avoid writing about it for as long as I can. I stand up from my laptop and sweep the floors, picking up Sophie’s blocks, doing squats. Unenjoyable activities, but better than this. I text my friend in Iran, ask him how he is, saying nothing about Soleimani. I am a fish flopping about for water on dry land. We all know what is wanted- peace- but we are helpless to secure it.
Will there be war? I wonder. Will the world go up in flames?
The flames aren’t a big deal. There is nothing particularly frightening about mass destruction, as long as no one is left to sweep up the ashes. It’s the particular destruction that kills you: a mother like a half-mad animal, clawing through burnt buildings for stiff little hand. A soldier clutching a leaking limb and snatching at his last spasm of awareness before death: death? so swiftly, so ordinary? Etc, etc. The images are as endless as they are senseless.
I would like to shut my eyes, but eye-shutting may be the most succinct definition of sin. Whether to beauty or to suffering, the soul-stain is the same. So I keep my eyes open, a helpless witness.
Why so helpless? Is there nothing we can do? If feels that my voice of rage can ripple no effect, can change no one’s minds, only validate the opinions of the powerless like me. The power is concentrated in the hands of so few, and all of them habituated by the normalcy of violence in the name of national interests.
This doesn’t feel like a democracy; it feels like a convenient delusion. When we have no say in the most destructive of national decisions, how are we to rise above the helpless rage?