Dixie Peach: Jumbled

Cooler than the other side of the pillow.

Monday, September 05, 2005


I have nothing to say.

Nothing to say and yet my mind seems so filled with thoughts and memories and stray crap that I have a perpetual dull ache along my forehead. What's in there - in my mind - seems loose and disjointed and even unimportant and I wish I could shake it all out and either makes some sense of it or relegate it to the mental waste basket and have trash pick up day be tomorrow.

My day, my irritations, my little joys, my routine seems pointless next to what some of my fellow Americans - my fellow Southerners - are enduring. How can I talk how annoying it is that my coffee canister that's supposed to hold a half kilo of coffee can barely squeeze it all in there without it spilling all over when there are so many who don't have a home let alone a kitchen any longer? How can I talk about how very glad I am that I'm nearly finished knitting my Aibhlinn cowl when the people of the gulf coast don't even have a clean pair of underwear to put on? How can I be glad I already cooked a nice supper this afternoon and all I have to do is heat it up later on when people have the fresh memory of going days without a bite to eat?

And this all sounds so melodramatic. Even when I wonder how I can think of the ordinary in my life when thousands upon thousands have no ordinary any longer it's still all about how it affects me and not them. Even my italicized me is evidence of that.

Why do I not get these thoughts and feel this way when I see people in Niger or Sudan or North Korea in dire straits? Does their plight seem so ordinary to me now that it takes something truly, truly shocking to wake my dead ass up? I have to see familiar land look like something from a disaster film before I realize that for a great many people in the world their lives are a world I can't fathom?

I have the feeling - this small feeling that pokes at my brain - that what we're seeing now is only the start of something. That something big has been kicked off by these events. Not necessarily something bad but maybe something epic. Or maybe something profound. Maybe our attention has for so long been focused on one thing that we've neglected to see something very important looming on the horizon. I have this idea that things that have been around but not freely talked about and not with much needed emphasis are fixing to burst upon us. Things like race relations, disparity between the classes, lack of morals (and I'm not talking about the Christian Right, Neo-Con sort of morals but the morals that say taking care of one another is something we have been charged with as humans), selfishness, abuse of resources - these things we've been whitewashing over for years and saying they're not all that bad - these things are going to burst upon our consciousness in a way that won't be ignored. The breech of the levee system in New Orleans is symbolic of these things now bursting on us at a nation and as a civilized world and like that levee system, you can't just ignore it.

It's only been a few days and I'm missing that ability to think and speak of the mundane and ordinary. To be able to tongue-in-cheek whine when my life is a little too dull. I'm sure it will return. Next month or next week or maybe even tomorrow - it'll be back. It'll feel okay and it will actually be okay to have cheer in my heart again instead of ache and to think of and be happy with the frivilous and have it not feel so frivious. And yet I don't want it to distract me too much because I want to keep watch on what's coming. Something's got to be coming.


Blogger Poppymom said...

Something good has got to come from this tragedy. It has to. And I hope what comes from it is a renewed knowledge that we have got to take care of each other, especially those who can't take care of themselves - the sick, the old, the young and the impoverished. Because if we don't start doing that immediately, which city's mext?

6:32 PM  
Blogger Dixie said...

I believe many thousands will have had their deaths be for nothing if we don't learn from the tragedy of the past week.

12:46 AM  
Blogger still life said...

you're absolutely right.
there is something a feeling of waiting,anticipation, like i'm holding my breath.

5:08 PM  

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