I am going to sit here and wring my hands.
My thoughts race through the inner caverns of my muddled mind, desperately searching for the right mélange of words that will give gestalt to my littered thoughts.
Scraps and bits of the prized and profane, the holy and the sacreligious queue up in an uneasy distich, reflecting weaknesses—each of the other, along the pews of my never-ending questions.
I sit here in my apartment on the east side of Manhattan, overlooking a congruent cement landscape, so much a sharp contrast from the crumbling edifices of hope inside the terrains of my heart.
Rattled with the dark hollowness that rises and settles and rises again in my chest, a little to the left, as I read this morning’s paper: 30 killed in Gaza, three killed in Israel, more than 40,000 killed in Syria—mostly children, crimes against humanity in Honduras, children of the war in Afghanistan devastated and psychologically irreparable, police killings in Kenya, evictions and suicides in Spain and on and on the beating of the relentless drum that sprays blood each time the drumsticks hit mercilessly against it’s membrane.
What are we supposed to do, the ones not physically hiding in the trenches of fear, but reverberating with each shot that rings through the febrile night-air in some distant, raped land?
Us, who haven’t lost our children in a war, but have raised them and can never fathom what it means to lose a child to someone’s dismissive belief of your beliefs. Should we brush aside the gnawing, glaucus ambiguity that then births in our sternum, spreading like squid; ink and tentacles in insidious ways across the continent of our own rising anxiety?
Are we really any different than them? Are we really secure in our fabricated cocoons, numbed and sated with odious sales and purchases of souls? Is there really the space indicated by the map, between us and them?
A journalist’s 11-month-old son dies in a bomb explosion in a God forsaken land, how is his son not mine, or yours? How can I turn the page of the newspaper and pretend that his wretched, agonized face, carrying a tiny corpse is not forever imprinted in my mind’s eye? It is.
For every jolt that humanity receives in any corner of this unforgiving land where barbarians still roam at large and Neanderthals dole out justice, we each will feel the pain, no matter how tall the skyscrapers in which our homes are nestled.
Should I consider myself privileged to be able to walk with freedom upon God’s earth in a land where troglodytes exist, but are somewhat concealed and restrained?
Or must I never forget that no matter how ‘developed’ the land I inhabit, the machinery behind it still looks at me through the lens of opinions formed on the basis of the color of my skin, or the intonations of my accent, or worst still my faith?
So I offer these words to anyone who will listen and take a read.
I have lived in a country strife with civil war, peppered now with too many countless other wars. I too have heard gunshots welcome me into a new dawn, except there was no newness to it, only dread. I still have loved-ones that are stripped of basic human rights living in countries that have been paralyzed and their resources sanctioned—because they disobey. Because they dare to ask for rights in a world of wrongs.
So I sit here, wringing my hands, salt-water collecting at the corners of my eyes, gathering momentum, speed and volume, ready to empty the glass windows they peer out of. Where do we go from here?
A childhood spent finding joy between the sheets of terror, an adulthood caught in the conflagrating fires of guilt, an old deathly silence comes back to haunt, threatening to freeze the capacity to feel. There is no other way to march on, not when you have read the morning news.
Tania Kazi is a yoga aficionado, a blossoming vegetarian, a wellness enthusiast and a lover of books. She has studied International Relations, worked at a think-tank, and served the corporate monster only to find that healing the human soul is where her passion lies. When she is not reading or writing feverishly, she is getting soaked in central park with her daughter under the sprinklers, taking or teaching a yoga class, immersing in meditation and making green juices!
Editor: Elysha Anderson