Saturday, March 29, 2003

Iraq again. Looking at the paper every morning is making me sick. I don’t even have the heart to turn to the crossword; it seems too trite for words (ergh, puns creep in everywhere). What the hell is going on? I keep thinking of the people living in Basra, in Baghdad, anywhere in Iraq. Keep thinking of them living with their lives hanging on a string, never knowing when the heavens will rain death upon them. Today's paper spoke of a young mother and her four children, incinerated in their car when a bomb tried to destroy Basra's communication centres. Nights of bombing, huddling in bomb shelters if you’re lucky enough to have one; waiting in the darkness, watching everything you’ve grown up with, your once-safe world go up in flames. Wondering how long until you’re the next one. I wonder if they have any parks left, any trees. No flowers this spring.
Half the world is rioting against this senselessness; tomorrow I’m going to a peace rally. I feel helpless, is nobody listening? I’ve stopped drinking Sprite and Pepsi; bazaar chukkers had me parched but I held out till I got home. I felt good about doing that, a personal nose-thumbing. Sometimes I wonder how God can let things like this happen- the lives of countless people is a price too precious to pay for learning tolerance, justice and the importance of standing up for the truth. It’s scary. Life is becoming precarious, the safe little cocoon we insulate ourselves in porous. Tell the people who are yours you love them, rebuild bridges you burnt, smell the flowers, lift your face up to the rain and stand there. Don’t be afraid to smile at people, laugh at yourself, wear all the colours of the rainbow. If I’m next, I don’t want to go without a fight, without getting the most out of my life, with any regrets.
Is nineteen too young to feel closer to death than ever before?

Mina at 1:30 PM