That struck me.

I almost turned on a guy with a clip board last time I was in Old Town. I honestly don’t even know what he was asking me for – money, to join his mailing list or buy a T-shirt…or just sign his paper. I could have done it, I honestly don’t think I believe that signatures on a page make much difference in this world of ours.

But he was standing there, well-dressed and handsome, across from the gaping mouth of Abercrombie and Fitch and saying “Save the polar bears!” And all I wanted to say was, “6,000 people are dying each month of disease and violence in the Darfur region of Sudan alone…and you’re saving the polar bears?”

I thought better of it and bit my tongue instead.

“You don’t want to save the cute little polar bears?” asked his not-as-handsome partner. Honestly, right then, saving the polar bears was the last thing in the world I wanted to do. But there I was standing, clothed-and-healthy-and-fed, in the middle of the part of this town that most epitomizes middle-class consumerism and I couldn’t talk about people thousands of miles and a million worlds away, dying in filth and poverty, not knowing what it means to feel safe or not be hungry.

“…load up on guns, bring your friends…” sang the busker down the street.

I just walked away.

“Wish for the hour, that the night time soon shall pass.
And the morning dew will bring us,
to a day our souls can last.”


8 thoughts on “

  1. Very moving juxtaposition of images. I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments. I have a hard time feeling bad for animals in pounds (SPCA) when people are barely living on less food than those dogs are eating.

  2. Congrats on presence of mind to have significant thoughts. To paraphrase Ayo, I just think “Predator! Bums in trees!” And heartbreak…I’m too good at putting things out of my mind. But denying darkness doesn’t make it lessen in truth, does it? I must do better.

  3. Em, where are you these days?  My head is laying on a tangle of blankets on my bed, while my fingers type this response.  I’ve been thinking lately about injustice towards Palestinians in Israel, and then all of a sudden I’m reading this amazing book by a Rabbi who survived the Holocaust and I started catching glimpses of the promised land from the eyes of Jews who aren’t necessarily political Zionists, but who need a place of refuge and I’m broken at the irony of the Holocaust birthing the modern state of Israel which birthed an exile and prolonged pain of another people.  Satan sure knows how to play games with good things, huh? 
    Thought you might understand.  What are we to do in this age, Em?  Wanna have coffee sometime?  –Rach

  4. Hey and what are your thoughts regarding CSUMB for Spring? Still having them? In other words, conservation groups have done well to maximize peoples’ liking of all things cute and fuzzy. They exploit the cute images on calanders and such and then use their fundings for myriad other conservation causes, the ones not so warm and cudly…Any thoughts around Pasadena as to solutions for the Darfur region? (besides the obvious)

  5. words have been so wasted in other places,    but, i still say outloud without any guilt of meaninglessness “it hurts so bad”

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