July 20, 2007
I try to speak of the mess the world is in, and I come up speechless. Or really, word-less. Unable to find words with which to talk about what I see and hear and feel and fear.
My work has taught me, if nothing else, that what we don’t know is far deeper, richer, more than what we do. I do know that any situation—from the nuclear power situation in Iran to suicide bombers in Iraq, from the battle for the hearts and minds of Palestinians that Hamas and Fatah are engaged in to the release of prisoners from Israeli prisons (a nation that has adamantly stated they will not negotiate with terrorists), from why the U.S. seemingly stopped hunting bin Laden in Afghanistan and attacked, instead, a sovereign country with no direct provocation, to the seeming senselessness of those who believe that the U.S.’s project to inoculate children against polio is really a ploy by the U.S. to sterilize their young people—contains far more elements than we can learn from any, or even all, media outlets.
Still I try to get my information from sites I consider least biased, and I cross-reference both wording and “facts” with sites as far to one side or the other that I can find, from the countries I am most interested in, to try to find some kind of neutral balance. The best I think I do is stay informed that my information is shifted in any number of directions, and hope that somewhere in the midst of the chaff, the truth will rise.
I feel often as though I am in a sea of ignorance, and I try to navigate through to some kind of clarity with new books, new websites, more information from more, new, (un)biased sources. I read and I watch and I hope, and I am often in despair.
I can’t tell anymore whether the world is spiraling downward in some kind of tailspin from which it hasn’t a chance of recovering, or if my focus on finding out as much as possible about the on-going, endless, ageless battle in the part of the world we call the Middle East is taking its toll on both my heart and my perspective.
Occasionally I talk to someone who doesn’t watch the news anymore, another who hasn’t read anything about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict in months or years, others who don’t know the elections in Turkey could shift the balance of power toward or against a more religious leadership, and who wouldn’t care even if they knew... and I wonder, is it them or is it me who live in darkness.
My darkness isn’t one of ignorance but of knowing just enough to know that I know virtually nothing about the final outcome of any of the struggles that plague the world today. Yet when I think about it I realize they have plagued the world for 2000...5000… 10,000 years, and the only difference today is that I am living in this world and am aware.
Maybe the way out of this darkness is to stop looking for the truth.
Maybe there is no truth. Or maybe the truth speaks only to those who do not seek it.
I wonder if I can stand the silence.