A Loss for Words
I have been finding for the past few days that I have not been able to sit down and write. In fact, it has been a bit difficult to do much of anything. I suppose I could blame the convection oven that is the atmosphere of North Carolina right now…having spent the past week, more or less, with heat advisories every day. I know that this has kept me out of the yard as much as possible, but it does not explain my inability to sit down and write. I look at my garden with its waist-high grass and weeds, and I can rightfully convince myself that the heat and humidity makes it too dangerous for me to get out and take care of the problem. It also helps that the bolt holding the blade on my lawn-mower sheared off last week when I hit a particularly tough clump of grass. The mower is in the shop as a result, and I am sitting in the air-conditioned comfort of my home. Besides, I am avoiding chiggers as well by staying in. There is nothing quite as nice as rationalization when you need it.
It could be that I am sickened by what I see going on in the Middle East. It saddens me to see any innocent civilians killed in war. Knowing that all three of the groups involved in the Israeli-Lebanese conflict are losing human potential disturbs me. Imagine the loss of human potential among the dead children. How many could have grown up to be doctors or teachers or humanitarians of some kind? Imagine the loss of the human potential for love among the mothers and grandmothers who are being cut down. Imagine, far worse, the new martyrs who swear revenge after seeing images of the dead . Violence always begets violence until everyone involved is dead.
What disturbs me most, though, is the US government’s failure to support an immediate cease-fire. The creation of a UN patrolled security zone to protect the Israelis from a rain of rockets and the innocent Lebanese civilians from the Israeli retaliations seems most reasonable. We have seen this issue before in Korea. Its Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), despite occasional tension, has kept that divided nation from outright war since the 1950s. Intolerance is ugly, no matter where it raises its head. There is little difference in my mind between dying because one is Jewish, Christian, or Muslim, or capitalist or communist or being persecuted and beaten because one is different from the majority in any way. As Georges Brassens, a wonderful French folk singer once sang:
Mourir pour des idées,
L’idée est excellente…
Mourir pour des idées, d’accord,
Mais de mort lente.
In Brassen's song, he states that dying for a theory, a religion, any idea for that matter is an excellent idea, but that we need to make it a slow death, because people change their minds. Ideas become passé just like fashion. He also states that those who flung themselves to their deaths in the name of a their cause nearly killed him by falling on him in multitudes. That is what I fear. If some ass who is blinded by faith takes us all out, boy will I be one pissed off agnostic dead gay man.
Yes, I know that there are many different contributing issues in these struggles in the Middle East. I know the history of how this all began. In fact, going back to some of the earliest differences among the Abrahamic faiths, I have heard the “curse of Ham” used to justify all kinds of racism and discrimination, including slavery, subjugation of the African continent to poverty and disease, and the same for the Arab world. At some point, I just want someone to stand up and find an answer that provides real-world solutions to these issues so that everyone can coexist. Sadly, I have no such answer of my own. When people lose their perspectives as humans because they are buffeted by the winds of religious fervor, nothing seems to be capable of swaying them back toward reason.
Yes, this makes me sick. I am tired of seeing contrails, explosions, fires, bloodied faces and dead children. But, still that is only a part of my issue.
I have been trying to do my part for the AIDS community worldwide by completing a project for a fundraiser. I see the bloated, fly-buzzed bodies of AIDS victims in Africa and scream internally about their plight. I want to help them and all people in the developing world who have fallen victim to the same disease that courses through my body. I don’t care nearly as much how anyone gets infected (no abstinence only programs here, please) as that they know how to avoid infection, have prevention and education programs in place, and medication and food available to them. When I see the world having to focus on two more warring nations and a terrorist group, it sickens me to know that those entities’ inability to get along will keep uninvolved people in the rest of the world from getting their fair share of attention. This will, to some extent, slow the flow of aid to them. Humanitarian aid should be our first point of value, not war.
I received a double slam on this last issue this week. I learned that a friend who had contributed twenty per cent of the illustrations for a poetry project fundraiser I am developing for worldwide AIDS causes decided to go into isolation in her home country, cutting all ties with everyone outside of her family and local friends. As a result, she withdrew her participation from the project. I was devastated for two reasons on this point. First, I lost a good friend and am worried about what is happening with her. Secondly, her gift of art--beautiful, unusual and unique--will be taken from the project and its potential for exposure in the whole world and I am now back to two years ago, seeking artists to complete the creative aspects of this project. My annoyance stems from just having located a publisher after a year of searching. Now, I am not back to square one, but the project is in crisis until I can find people with heart and ability to replace my lost friend’s former contribution.
I guess that is enough to prevent me from finding my words for several days. I was also going to write about my love-life and the fact that I seem to be a bit of a freak-magnet in this area, but I think I will save that for a later time. It is enough to contemplate the lack of love and understanding on the scale of war…my love-life can wait.
Categories: politics war religion HIV AIDS rant depression