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Jul. 8th, 2005 | 08:41 am
mood: ambitious

I didn't find out about the events in London until I got home from class at about 1pm and checked lj and saw entry after entry about it, then went and read the news. I braced myself for news of the worst possible catastrophe.

Want to hear something sick? When I read that the death toll was only 37 (although it's over 50 now), my initial reaction was actually relief. Sort of a 'Oh well, that's not too bad' sort of thing. That's become my state of mind. A two, three, four, even five or more digit number, followed by 'death'. That's my personal grief alert. My coping strategy is to just not do the math, to add up the real value of a human life, which is immeasurable. It's so wrong for me to even be thinking in these terms.

I am sorry: for London, for Baghdad, for New York, for Madrid, for Afghanistan, Russia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Rwanda, Sudan, the Egyptian official who's apparently dead now in Iraq, and on and on and on. And I wonder; what can I do? There must be something more positive I can contribute than regret.

In some ways this latest is more traumatic for me personally than the others. Why? Probably because I never visited the World Trade Center or any of the other places where disaster, whether natural or human, has struck. London's is the only acquaintance I've been priviledged to make, albeit briefly. It's more real to me, not just a point of latitude and longitude. I've been to those stops. I've minded the gap. I run through a list of the face of every acquaintance I made there, and I wonder.

There has got to be a better, achievable way to live than this, than wondering where the next hit will be because you know it's not over. I've hoped, and I still hope, that it can be reached by mutual understanding and respect, the kind you don't pay lip service to but the kind that has a real impact on the decisions we make as nations and individuals. But the key word is achievable, and that's a hard one for me. I just don't know. But I still cannot subscribe to the idea that wiping any group off the face of the earth is going to make it all better, or that a war can end all wars. We tried that.

And now al-Sherif is reportedly dead, at best still kidnapped. Makes me very, very nervous about Cairo. Enough to give it up.

And now I will switch gears completely because I have that luxury.


CLASS, WRITING

Women's Studies is over, which is good because god willing I can earn some money now, but sad because it was an excellent class and I learned quite a bit. Should be able to look forward to a decent grade. Got an A on the paper, which I totally didn't deserve. It was handed in late and was way superficial. Another case of being able to throw together a bitchin' sentence and maximize my use of sources. Art over matter. I hate myself a little.

While we're on the subject of writing...Mercile said something to me that really meant a lot. Basically she told me that to write, to take people out of their worlds and into new places and ideas, is a really noble thing. That reading good literature saves lives. She's right. It saved mine.

One of my first amibitions in life was to be a doctor. Because they help people, in a tangible quantifiable (so I thought when I was 7) way. I wanted to do it because it was a challenge, because I'm squeamish and I struggle with numbers and science. When I latched onto writing it was because it was pleasurable and it came easily to me. Took me out of reality, sometimes for weeks at a time. But I was always in a dilemma over being a writer, because I've never considered writing something noble, helpful, useful. I still don't. 'All art is quite useless', among other things. (Oh Oscar, what didn't you know?) Useless, yes. I disagree with Harold Bloom on most things, but he was right about literature not making anyone a better person. Useless. But it does save lives, for better or worse. It does make life more bearable. Writing is a touniquet. And reading is hydrocordone. Put 'em together and you've got a really loopy patient. And that's a good thing, to be completely out of it now and then, and into something else.

I'm not making sense anymore. What do you want from me, I haven't eaten since 4 this morning. But anyway, after years, that one anxiety in my life is alleviated. I'm sure it will come back to haunt me, but at least I know how to tell it off now ;)

And now I have to give blood. What was pleasurable and easy has to become a discipline as well, or it's just shit, an easy A for research and presentation, not for thought. I'm doomed to live in a constant state of curiosity, which is a good thing, or the acidic parts of my personality would take over.


KENDO

In other news...I kicked some ass in kendo yesterday. Dear god am I sore. My kote is much better, my attacks are quicker, I just have to discipline my formation. We're getting there.

I've discovered I prefer sparring with the boys to sparring with Kelli because they hit harder. And when they hit hard, it makes me move faster, and hit harder back. rawr,

And TA Liz is my fucking hero. 6'1 ish, built like a cage and a very formidable opponent. And a good, patient teacher. Glad to have her around.

I must remember to jot down some anecdotes later. They're worth remembering.

Now then. The kitchen is a disaster, my hair needs moisture, and I have advisors to stalk. This can only mean one thing; get the fuck off the computer.

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Comments {6}

Vlad

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from: kinseym
date: Jul. 8th, 2005 06:59 pm (UTC)
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Inquiry is a gift and a curse, as are bullshitting skillz.

Don't give up on Cairo! Danger is everywhere and ultimately the benefits of travel will outweigh the risks. according to me.

I love reading your entries :-)

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the very sweet little laughter

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from: adroanzi
date: Jul. 8th, 2005 09:03 pm (UTC)
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You're right, as usual :)

I keep telling myself that it can happen anywhere - hell, it happened here! My chances or being blown up or beheaded by Al-Qaida operatives in Cairo are probably considerably less than getting hit by a stray bullet during a gang shootout outside my house. I've been readind and trying to find things out from Americans who've just come back or are still there. I haven't given up.

Worse case scenario, there's always Nigeria :)

*lovelove*

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Floating Boat

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from: uki_fune
date: Jul. 8th, 2005 09:32 pm (UTC)
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Reach for the moon; even if you miss you'll land among the stars. : )

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the very sweet little laughter

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from: adroanzi
date: Jul. 8th, 2005 11:22 pm (UTC)
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*runs to roof, stands on tiptoe* :)

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from: desolateangel83
date: Jul. 8th, 2005 09:54 pm (UTC)
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I was kinda relieved when the death toll was only 37 too. I guess I was comparing it with September 11's body count.

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the very sweet little laughter

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from: adroanzi
date: Jul. 8th, 2005 11:24 pm (UTC)
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Same here. It's terrible, but it could have been much worse.

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