Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Worries of the World

I'm sorry I just can't do it.

I can't watch the tv news anymore. I can't listen to the radio. I can't even read some of my favorite blogs without a swift pre-scan for references to world events. Part of my brain has just shut down and says "No - you can't cope with this. It is all out of your control. And if the end of the world is nigh, well... goodbye world."

The trigger was definitely the television footage from an airport in Japan, where a wall of water was approaching a building. FL had the sound turned off, as usual, but for some inexplicable reason he chose that moment to un-mute it and my ears were filled with the sound of genuine panic, fear, mounting hysteria. It was too immediate. It was the sound of people who knew they were about to die. And there was nothing I could do about it. Absolutely nothing.

Yesterday in her language class at school, my daughter was asked to speak in German about her ideal shopping experience. So she looked up all the words she needed to describe a trip to Japan: all the wonderful clothes / shoes / stationery / Studio Ghibli items to be found in various cities and how she would travel from place to place. Her teacher was NOT pleased. To talk about shopping in Japan is apparently "offensive". On one level, I can understand where her teacher is coming from - oh, how shallow it is to talk about shopping when people are dying! True. But who asked her to talk about shopping in the first place?! And was it not an opportunity to talk about what might be lost to the world if an entire culture is razed to the ground by disasters natural and man-made? Nien. Verboten. Tell me about going into Aberdeen on a Saturday afternoon to buy a Justin Bieber CD. As if!

I have a recurring dream about wandering through a city that is a composite of all the places I have ever lived. Sometimes it is a desolate place with ruined buildings and people huddled round camp-fires, scavenging for food. The toilets are always blocked. I am looking for friends from the past, people I have lost. I dream about this place so often that it is entirely familiar to me. I am resigned to my wanderings. It is made better by knowing that every time I go looking for someone in my dreams, I do find comfort - not always where I expect it - and I have often woken up thinking I need to make more human connections, so that I have somewhere to go when I lose what I have now.

FL is doing OK. He has now added an antibiotic, an anti-fungal, paracetamol and a laxative to his daily diet of pills. The kitchen table is home to a teetering mound of pharmaceuticals. He went golfing yesterday... which means he is basically "fine". But I have a growing sense of unease, a feeling that reality is coming too close to my bad dreams.

So I am sorry - I need to change the channel right now. I need to absorb myself in a world of creativity: literature, fabric, yarn, music. I can't cope with the bigger picture.


Myrna said...


Sigrid said...

I agree, It's horrifying, and the worst seems to be the lingering feeling of unease. Like a bad dream, or a medical crisis, there are so many unanswered questions--we are still so far from a knowing if it will get worse and when it will get better. Meanwhile, worrying about it doesn't contribute anything. Perhaps our best resistance lies in the creative realm.

christinelaennec said...

I'm happy to change the channel with you, Roobeedoo. I think immersing yourself in a world of creativity IS doing something. Keep as positive as you can. As for the German teacher who believes she can see impure intentions in your daughter's heart... it sounds to me like she suffers from limited horizons and imagination (not to mention bad pedagogy). Good for The Girl to go to all that trouble and to imagine the good that there is *and will be again* in Japan. Take good care of yourself/ves.

CCK said...

No details from here, I'm in total agreement with you..I've not watched the news and listen a bit on the radio but only if it happens to be on...was in the Kobe earthquake in '95 and the PTS is popping it's ugly head...I send you hugs and a strong cup of tea and lots of deep carry so much..knitting copiously right along with you.

tea and cake said...

You're absolutely right to do this. You have enough on your plate right now.
The other thing I worry about, or certainly feel an unease, is the amount of blogger/sellers who seem to be selling their wares, with a donation going to the fund to help people. Why don't they just donate something, anyway? I refuse to 'play' or partake in this.
Unless you turn off your tv and continue to concentrate on your family, your panic will rise, and you need all that lovely creativity to cope just now. lots of love and hugs to you all.

Happymousefairy said...

I'm with you Roobeedoo, very with you.

Huge hugs and lots of knitting/crafting karma.

I agree with others about you daughter's German teacher, how sad. But congrats to your daughter for putting so much effort into her homework!

tim's wife said...

I have been too busy to watch TV at all these last months and realize I have not missed it a bit. I get stressed out with my own life and am an "over- sympathizer" so it is too painful to see the misery going on all around us. You have to unplug sometimes. My pastor was talking about a man who predicts the world will end this May. I thought to myself, "BRING IT-what joy to all go at once and not leave grieving spouses and kids behind!" I just wish I knew for sure though 'cause who wants to "go" with money in the bank? I'd go out and blow it on a hot sports car right now and have a good old time for the next few months. And forget the diet too!

Paula said...

After 9/11 here in the states, it took me a full week to "come down" from the "news haze"". It was just too shocking!

I finally watched a video online of the sumani (sp)...I'm like you...just can't watch it! Just can pray for them & hope they can get thru it.

Kate said...

I understand - I am trying to do the same. I live in Christchurch, New Zealand. We need to focus on the positive, the creative and the hopeful. No-one will be better off because other people feel bad. I am knitting baby clothes for my granddaughter who is due in June. Pink wool might not save the world, but it is keeping me together now.

Steven L. Ritter said...

I can't agree with you more... It is all just too much and nothing we can do to help. I try to be of help to all the people around me and to reach out to the people who are friends on the blogasphere... Listen to some relaxing Jazz, have a hot tea, and think about the joy your family gives you every day! O' and by the way... You can have the rain and cold weather back... I live in California and I'm really tired of it... Come on Spring!!!

Ambermoggie, a fragrant soul said...

with you there can't watch, don't want to watch. ATM too much going on in family like you to want to add worries over world it horrifies me:( Your daughter's teacher sounds shortsighted and an idiot if you will forgive me saying so. Your daughter came up with an excellent interpretation of the brief.
Sending strngth, love and hugs

Sandy said...

Well, I can't watch TV cuz I don't have one here, and don't really want to watch it either, but my blog is how I am feeling, so I apologize if anything expressed about the world condition upsets- certainly don't want to do that - but like you I am throwing myself into creative acts because it helps me deal with what I cannot either control or fix.

Roobeedoo said...

I'm glad I am not the only one trying to hide from the world!
Sandy - I definitely wasn't pointing at you when I said I was avoiding some blogs! ;)