words fail

June 10, 2010

The suicide bomber in today’s news was no more than thirteen years old. That’s what I read in the news. Thirteen fucking years old! It’s beyond tragic. Tragedy doesn’t get at it. It’s just horror, man. I keep trying to imagine the kind of madness that led up to a child at a wedding wearing a vest of explosives and pulling the pin on a grenade, and I flail around, numb. I can’t get my brain or heart around it.

I think of the Joseph Campbell quote, “Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy,” and I wonder was he thinking of something as horribly fucked up as this. How does one participate in this? Protest the war? Write letters to congress? Give to a peace group? I don’t know how to do this.


2 responses to “words fail”

  1. ned says:

    I think you were approaching it in your “at heart the of it all” post. Of course we don’t want to have empathy with the mind that straps explosives to a 13-year old to send them to murder (or the 13-year old mind wearing them, for that matter). We do make choices about how to respond to the world around us. I don’t think it’s easy to choose to live in joy – that statement is deceptively simple.

    Here’s to sunshine. Hope you get some more soon.

  2. liz says:

    You’re right Ned. And it is a deceptively simple statement, but one I’ve thought about a lot ever since I heard it.

    Sometimes the world’s so outrageously appalling, which I know has always been true. Today I read a headline about the Taliban hanging a 7 year old boy to punish the family. To someone it makes sense to do that and that someone lives in the same world as I do and how do you embrace the world when you in your heart you’re feeling vengeance for some part of it? I dunno know if I’m making sense.

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