I know, I’ve been quiet. You could go so far as to say absent–doing what I have to do, and not a syllable more.
It’s a funny thing. I’ve heard writing described like a muscle, the more you do it/use it, the more you can write, higher word count and more effective. The same is true in reverse. Not working on a novel led to not working on anything fiction, to not reading fiction, to not blogging because what the hell, is anyone actually reading my words anyway? Despite my descent into sniveling, I’ve received several nudges in the form of notes and emails over the past couple of weeks from people wondering where I am (thank you!), reminding me there are people out there who read Mrs Fringe. If this post is a bit scattered, keep in mind that my writing muscles are a bit stiff.
By now, most days I’m on autopilot for the commute. Some days I can fully appreciate the opportunity to hear some fine musicians, find a dollar at the bottom of my bag for one of the all-too-many ragged and hungry homeless who are walking those tunnels without benefit of a coat–sometimes not even shoes, note some characters (and quirks) for future writing endeavors, and some days, well,
So where I’ve been is here, and what I’ve been doing is adhering to the if-you-don’t-have-anything-nice-to-say rule. What makes me come out of cyber-hiding today? My absolute embarrassment at being a member of the human race right now. Much as I’d like to be a Time Lord; I have no Tardis, only one heart, only one life, and am in fact limited by time and space. We won’t even mention the effects of gravity. Same as everyone else on this earth.
But everywhere I look these past few days, I see and hear people playing the my-god-is better-than-your-god game, naturally followed by my-life-is-more-valuable-than-yours. Last week’s attacks in Paris more than ramped up the worldwide conversation about the Syrian refugees, where they can go, who will take them in, why anyone should. The attacks in Paris were horrendous, despicable, the result of fear and hatred. Every act of terrorism is horrific, be it domestic or international.
I’ve read many theories on what to do in order to combat terrorism. Some of those theories sound good, others make no sense to me at all. Not being an expert in international relations or politics, I can’t begin to think that I know the best thing to do in order to neutralize (is that the right word?) Isis/Isil/Daesh. Here’s what I do know. They are a small group of dangerous nut jobs. I said it. SMALL. And they do not, in my expert opinion as a human being residing on the one and only planet we humans can currently reside on, justify turning our backs on the millions of Syrian refugees who have had to flee from their home.
We, as human beings, have documented waves of refugees (most, if not all, because of religious persecution) dating back to BC times. Israelites, Huguenots, Muhacirs, Russian Jews, Belgians, Serbians, Armenians, Jews from Eastern and Western Europe during WWII, Palestinians, Ugandans, Cubans, Balkans, Rwandans, Sudanese, Iraqis, and now Syrians. I’m certain I’ve missed many, and I’m certain the Syrians won’t be the last. Is there a group, a religion, a nationality that hasn’t been persecuted?–and many have had their turn as the persecutors, as well. With all this experience, shouldn’t we, as one human race, be able to recognize each other as fellow humans and respond with compassion, instead of reacting with fear and walls and bigotry? Given the planet’s population, global climate change, and bigger and better weaponry, I would guess waves of displaced peoples will increase with time. (Unless we eliminate borders.)
I’m not naive, I understand there are problems, logistical and otherwise that come with large numbers of refugees. But the biggest problem I see is clinging to hatred and xenophobia, pretending that it isn’t “our” problem.
The other day I was on a crowded train and spotted an empty seat next to a woman wearing a niqab. You know what I did? I sat down.