Sunday, July 16, 2006

I am so weary....

My heart has been heavy of late. I should have no reason for this moodiness – I'm relaxed, with minimal commitments. Inuvik has been beautiful, with the sun blazing and the greenery lush and soft. However, my time off has given me time to think outside of this sheltered world in which I live. I've picked an awful week to start tuning in to the outside world once more.

Headlines from the past couple of days:

  • N. Korea has more missiles, U.S. says
  • Shiite Leader in Pakistan Killed
  • Militants Hit Nigeria Oil Facilities
  • 16 Killed in Rebel Clash with Sri Lanka

And, this afternoon, I read an article/letter written by a civilian in Beirut. She described sitting in a cafe, in the silence of the coffee-machines (the city had been without power for three days). They were getting used to the sounds of the Israeli air-raids. The airport bombings had moved past the runways to the main buildings. Parts of the suburbs, roads leading out of the city, tunnels, and bridges had likewise been annihilated. What hurt her the most was to see all the postwar reconstruction, built out of the sweat and sacrifice of the people (built in spite of the corruption of the government that hung over their daily lives), blown to smithereens. She expressed, “I am tired of spending days and nights waiting not to die from a shell, on target or astray. Watching poor people bludgeoned, homeless and preparing to mourn. I am so weary....”

Sitting here in the comforts of my home in Inuvik, looking at that piece of blue sky through the open window, I am weary too. I am aching in my privileged world for the pain of those too numb to cry for themselves. What makes me deserving of this life, and not one in Beirut or Jaffna or Pyongyang?

In my web-browsing, I stumbled upon a black-and-white photo taken in Baddeck, Nova Scotia, in 1908. It is of Alexander Graham Bell flying a huge wheel-kite out on an open field. Bell had envisioned creating a kite-like machine that humans could fly in. The time and world depicted in the photo looked to me to be so full of possibility and genuine inquiry bred out of innocence. Look at what we've become now. The young man I've been tutoring expressed to me a few days ago that he felt as though World War Three would start sometime soon. What makes anyone think that it hasn't already begun?

Perhaps the danger of this day and age goes beyond the advance of arms and the frightening new potential to annihilate. Perhaps it's in the individual indifference/helplessness that exists in each of us.

Again, in the words of Rilke:

And suddenly, in this tiresome nowhere, suddenly
in this indescribable place where the pure Too-Little
mysteriously changes – springs around
into an empty Too-Much.
Where the staggering bill
adds up to zero.


  1. Someone is sure due for a good, mindless chick flick! (Too bad I can't think of any right now. No time to watch anything lately.)

  2. Don't you have "Serendipity"? I know it always helps to take my mind off things.

  3. Thank you for making me realize all I have to be grateful for. EB