I’ve just watched a series of news broadcasts on the CBC and BBC. The CBC had a program called Meltdown, which, during the segment I caught, showed the fall of Icelandic banks and their addition to Britain’s list of “terrorists.” Terrorists? Clearly Iceland is facing a tremendous crisis and both Iceland and Britain are solely focused on survival.
The BBC reports that thirty-six people were killed in Damascus today. And a humiliated Greece was said to be turning to tourism to save itself from bankruptcy. How can Greeks smile for tourists in the face of such a crisis?
Their government bonds have been downgraded to junk. The governments of the Eurozone will not escape this crisis. The contagion spreads from country to country – Italy, Ireland, Spain.
The debt crisis in the U.S. seems insoluble. And still the parties posture, as if time is infinitely elastic. Meanwhile homelessness, hunger, and impoverishment spread and state governments close down.
A three-year drought in Kenya is seeing babies die and adults barely alive. Three years without rain….
How to convey my feelings at this moment?
To watch this terrible news, what comfort is it to know that sometime in the not too distant future things will take a dramatic change for the better? How does it offset watching such heartbreak in so many parts of the world?
How can I represent things as “working out” in a world with so many people in such uncertainty and pain? I cannot. Even if this global tragedy is temporary, it’s still real and present. To pretend the world is not distressed is something I can’t do. Perhaps the BBC and other news stations can wear a smile while reporting these events, but I cannot.
What is one to do? How to carry heartache and hope, sorrow and optimism in the same space, without being torn apart by dissonance? I confess I haven’t found the way.
I’m brought to sober silence by the tragedy and suffering I see around me in the world.