Friday, December 29, 2023

F ³: Lamentations

I have been struggling to write for the last week or so. Part of it is probably the aimlessness of the holidays. My sleep schedule is different. My days are unscheduled. Local stories are primarily centered around holiday celebrations, food, shopping, and the like. Nothing jumps out at me. Many ideas are of the almost, but not quite variety.

I have a confession to make. The biggest block to my writing is the ongoing slaughter of civilians in Gaza. I sat down on Christmas to gather my thoughts and all I could see in my mind’s eye were frightened eyes, tears, pain, rows of little bodies. Flattened buildings where once neighbors had lived and worked. Total destruction. No mercy.

The terrorist acts by Hamas against Israeli citizens were vile and inexcusable. The response by the IDF has been unconscionable. Both of these things can be true.

Both of these things are true.

Here in the U.S. we must face the fact that funds from tax dollars are paying for weapons that the IDF is using to carry out genocide. If we say nothing we are complicit. If we speak out we run the risk of hurting those of our Jewish friends and neighbors who are grieving and enraged by the October 7th attacks. We may bring judgement upon ourselves and even censure.

To be honest, nothing we say puts us even remotely close to the pain that those involved are suffering. We have the immense privilege of being protected from harm. 

I can’t find a way to justify the slaughter of children. Anyone’s children. If we are able to turn off within ourselves our natural instinct to value the young and defenseless, then we are not far from turning ourselves into the kind of monsters we fear the most.

We get used to steeling ourselves against things that are unpleasant or frightening. We shrink away from the pain and try to will it to go away. It is easy to feel a sense of being emotionally overwhelmed. Imagine what it must feel like to have lost your home, your neighborhood, your entire family. 

Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow…

- - Lamentations

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.