New Year’s Eve, Valla
I am ridiculously happy despite what is happening to the environment and to people ~ a manifestation of the strange ability the human psyche has for cheerful optimism.
We live in a different world to inner city Sydney, contrails are a very rare sight here.
These white wakes of high-altitude jet aircraft may be warming the earth more than the planes’ carbon-dioxide emissions. The clouds of ice crystals condensed from the moisture in aircraft exhaust may evaporate quickly but others linger for hours and spread across the sky.
After a swim, friends are coming round for drinks and night-spotting in Jagun. No fireworks, and too late in the season for fireflies.
Earlier I was reading a speech about our polarity, not Apollonian vs Dionysian, but about our amnesia and optimism vs what is really happening.
“With twin responses we confront the ambivalence of our psyche expressing on the one hand our profound grief that our world is damaged and that we are bereft. But we express on the other, defiance and ongoing struggle; a striving to renew and rebuild. The physical may crumble but the spirit endures.
We must not let ourselves be defeated by acts of destruction; nor may we lose hope that we shall see reconstruction and redemption; nor ought we dishonour those who showed faith and resilience in the face of adversity through our own hesitation. We respond by living better lives, through celebrating life and imbuing it with meaning.” Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence, 9/11 remembered in St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney, September 11 2011. And quoted by Malcolm Turnbull in Federal Parliament commemorating 9/11.
I am ridiculously happy despite what is really happening to the environment and to people.
When I put my reading glasses on after coming in from working in the garden my right lens fogs up, my left hemisphere works language and poetry, so I must be doing something else with my right that I am not conscious of – such as imagining tomorrow after reading newspaper headlines revealing how the world is ending the year:
Congo TV talk show stormed by armed intruders: Dozens die after state broadcaster, airport and military base in Kinshasa attacked by machete-wielding assailants.
Children ‘beheaded and mutilated in Central African Republic, says Unicef: UN warns of unprecedented levels of violence against children, as December sectarian clashes result in 1,000 dead in Bangui.
Putin tightens security in Volgograd: Russian city hit by second suicide bomb attack in 24 hours – leaving 14 dead – comes one day after train station was hit.
“We love our children. We are famous for loving our children, and many foreigners believe we love them unwisely and too well. We plan, work, and dream for our children; we are tirelessly determined to give them the best of life. Perhaps we are too busy loving our own children to think of children 10,000 miles away, or to understand that distant, small, brown-skinned people, who do not look or live like us, love their children just as deeply, but with anguish now and heartbreak and fear.”
War correspondent Martha Gellhorn in a piece for the Ladies’ Home Journal early 1967. She was writing about the children of Vietnam during that war, but her words echo on. She was, I have read, a very cold and critical mother to her son.