“This not the
The subtext of his words: This isn’t supposed to happen here. It’s supposed to happen there, yes, but not here. (The ultimate irony, of course, being that our ‘there’ is somebody else’s ‘here’, and vice versa.) As if there were some kind of geographical and moral symmetry at work. As if some nations are destined from disaster and destruction because of their locales and varying levels of decrepitude, while others were exempt due to their superior structures of government, their better organization, their stronger sense of urgency and action when it comes crisis time.
Not that I’m mocking what the reporter said, because fragments of the same thoughts surely floated through the flotsam of my own brain. In some sense, I don’t think he was talking about the United States at all; he was talking about humanity, about the individual, about how we would like to believe that death and destruction are not coming for us, no, at least not today. To imagine oneself at the centre of an unspeakable tragedy is to imagine oneself vulnerable. To imagine oneself vulnerable is to invite that which would destroy us.
The story of
It’s like that lady in the tree. You remember her? The one in
The good thing, the tangible thing, is that lady survived. The one in the tree. And so did her child. I’m not sure what that means, for her or for us or for the people of the Southern Delta down in the States, but it sure as hell must mean something, is what I’m thinking.