There is a lump in my throat so big I can't breathe and we are jumping off the cliff and plummeting, headlong, into war. My body revolts against this. Revolted by the mere idea of a war, any war, but especially one like this. My stomach hurts, and it's lunch time but I can't bear the thought of food. My coffee this morning tasted like gunshots. Burnt, bitter. I couldn't swallow my muffin and none of it wants to stay down. I keep reading the articles in the Times, one after another, and my whole being sags with every word. I feel like... I don't know. Like I want to cry and be sick and scream all at once. Like I want to vomit out the violence of humanity, this urge to kill and overpower and strut that keeps pulling us into these stupid conflicts, spew it out with my muffin and my coffee and flush it away. I feel more alone than I've ever felt in my life, I feel like a little kid again just beginning to realize that my parents are just people, flawed. That they can't make things better, that they have problems of their own that are bigger than they are a lot of the time. I want to cry in somebody's arms and for that to be enough, for them to be able to rub my back until I calm down into hiccups instead of sobs and then to sleep and wake up and feel better, but there's nothing I can do. In the end, it turns out it's not about people, it's not about lives, it's just power. It's one stubborn nation, maybe just one stubborn man, determined to put everyone through hell to prove... what? That we can? I want so badly to believe that this is right, to have it be right, to have the evidence in front of me that there are concealed weapons, late-night handoffs to terrorists, to be able to nod my head and say, sure, this needs to be done, but I can't. All I see is people, and bared teeth and raised hackles and a man with a stupid, ugly face determined to have his way.
I walked through the United Nations park here, the other day, where the goals of the UN are laid out in brass letters set into the sidewalk blocks, and there is such intelligence there. Such a longing for peace after years of what they so rightly called the scourge of war. Such a willingness to set aside all the petty differences, to work through the necessary discussions and differences, to prevent ever again having to fight a war. I walked through this park and I read these words, and I went back to the beginning and walked and read them again, and for a little while I was filled with hope, and my throat loosened and I could breathe and smile and for just a few minutes I thought maybe, if we stuck to these simple precepts, everything would work out in the end. Maybe there was something so powerful that it would hold me safe and let me cry and make it better. Then I got back and the first thing that greeted my eye when I opened Internet Explorer was 'US abandons hope for UN vote.' And every muscle in my body clenched up and my stomach twisted and my eyes prickled.
It's just so visceral, at this point. Painful, unavoidable, embodied. I never knew my body could take such a firm stand on international politics.
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