I was writing something on the Laws of Nature but haven’t the heart to post it right now. There is too much loss around. I have a friend in New Orleans which personalises the tragedy unfolding there and, though he is safe, imagining him standing in the scenes I’ve seen on TV brings the horror home to me.
I don’t know anyone in Iraq so my imagination baulks at the thought of the horror of the mosque stampede. Without the personal connection my mind can’t bring itself to dwell for long on the brutal reality of it.
Both events make me aware of the fragility of our comfort. In the face of the elements our hold on the face of the planet seems so precarious, our attempts at civilisation so ephemeral. But when the social bonds fray it feels even worse, more of a betrayal.
I don’t know what to do about it either. Pray for those dead and endangered? Enjoy my current comfort gratefully and whole-heartedly? The media make me a witness of horror–they entertain me with it–but beyond my capacity for more than compassion, maybe even beyond that.
At least where my compassion fails me there is an economic response. The Red Cross is accepting donations for hurricane relief in the US. I don’t know how to give to ease the suffering in Iraq.