Saturday, December 4, 2010


Spain has declared a "state of alarm" because air traffic controllers walked out and erased air traffic over the country. Hundreds of thousands were affected in a country whose economy is already teetering. South Korea is rattling its sabre and threatening military action against North Korea, a country whose recent provocations against the south lend weight to the view that the north is so impoverished and so fearful of losing cohesion that inciting military incidents -- and raising the patriotic fervor of its residents -- is the best it can think of when it comes to maintaining stability. Greece is seeing demonstrators in the streets after implementing austerity measures that Ireland, England, and even the U.S. will probably be forced to mimic in some way. During the Great Depression, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt once commented that he was somewhat surprised that those who were so affected and so desperate did not rise up. I once read an article that said the U.S. has contingency plans for any mass uprising.

And the disquiet is not just among nations. Here at this computer screen, I receive notes of anxiety, uncertainty and sorrow from living, breathing human beings. Since I am not beyond such things myself, how could I not feel the sadness? It is wracking. It is barbaric. It is defeating. It is enraging.

Everyone wants a solution. Everyone wants an escape.

But there comes a time, I think, to surrender all notions of solution or escape. Intellectually, such a surrender is offensive and somehow contrary to all upbringing. It is depressing. It is defeatist. No! No! And again, no! But without such a surrender, how could anyone find the firmer ground that beckons ... the actual-factual, never-mind-the-fairy-tales firmer ground? Elevating happiness or despair don't work ... now what?

I don't have an answer or solution or escape route.

But there is this ... this moment, this breath, this sunshine.

Does it solve the problems? Nope ... and still there is this.