It’s the biggest exodus of our time—a movement of the people.
And here I am, sitting by a heater and watching a Roman Polanski film as though my void for evil is not yet satisfied.
Compliments to the chef who mixed my emotions together in a way that allows me to go about my business as though I understand sorrow, or do not need to.
I heard recently that if I could zoom into one atom to look closely enough, I would see the back of my own head. Pictures of riverbeds and constellations and my own neurological connections look the same- from a certain perspective. Like, when an artist decides she is good at drawing hats and then leaves us wondering if there is even hair under all those hatted characters.
It is simple to think that because I do not wear the hat that say, the Syrians, wear, that surely there is a fundamental difference on the top of our heads.
The question of whether I could weather that sort of Syrian storm is one I can not answer. These travellers are some super-human population floating on janky lifeboats to settle boldly into new surroundings.
I must not feel guilty for enjoying my dark pleasures like Polanski even as on the exact same planet humans are floating to victory—or often non-victory.
On the other hand, I do not think it best to ignore the voice inside which mutters that something is not right in one sense or another and that perhaps something can be done to ease my own suffering by easing the suffering of another.
Its like that study the scientific people did where monks with strong meditation practices were MRI-ified and facts showed a greater brain capacity for gratitude and generosity.
I will not swim in a pool that is too cold for the same reason as I will not feel comfortable in a world where the wolf can blow my house down without even aiming his breath at me.
I must feel the suffering that is not mine in some direct way by broadening the boundaries of what is mine.
Comfort zones look like this: when the neighbour does a sharp turn on the lawnmower and the other yard’s grass looks extra tall next the fresh cut.
What’s mine is yours whether I intend that to be so or not. Even the way our houses are lined up probably look something like those riverbeds and neuron connectors—architects agreeing to follow the pattern of the universe.
So, then, my hat probably is not any different than those floating across the sea on heads full of anticipation. Those hatted heads belonging to beings who probably have, at some time, mourned a death brought on by some natural cause, offered laughter to a joke that was not funny or eaten (finally!) that thing they’d been craving.
Life is no less intense and these feelings Syrian citizens must know now are ones that demand my gears switch from empathy to sympathy.
Each of these Syrian sufferers is someone who could level me with their two eyes and tell me of a wordless world in which things disappear and your feet still stay under you while you make a whole new definition of reality.
I prefer to not give a face to these folks, really, because refusing to create a reality around this crisis shelters me from my inability to fix it all.
I can help some, though.
Due to that news—the news that I can help—I must huff and puff and blow down my own house to feel the wind.
There are petitions and work-related causes—fundraisers. Let’s take ‘em in, team America, tell our politicians. Google is probably for my cause, too.
Easing their suffering will ease my suffering. I must remember the struggle and insert myself where I may. I can send ‘em things like socks and toothbrushes and undies! Vibes—good ones—are free to mail.
As for my own direct suffering, this film seems to mostly be sex scenes in which the little sister has to lie in bed and listen. Or maybe those are just the scenes I am tracking in to.
If there were an orgy in Syria, we would be less likely to avert our senses to its happenings.
Author: Kambrie Kriegshauser
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Image: Courtesy of the author, Credit: Rachel Becker