I need to blog more. I do. I miss it. And I don't want this blog to just be monthly letters to my baby. It would be nice if we also had some record of the stuff going on between the 24th of one month and the 24th of the next month, you know?
And there is stuff going on, but a lot of it is stuff that I can't really talk about here, and that pisses me off, and also I hate it when people go on about Unbloggable Things, and really, everything is fine, Callum is great and Torsten and I are great and things are good. But some of the non-baby details of our lives are things I don't really want to get into at the moment, but those are the same things that are on my mind a lot of the time, and therefore... silence.
Plus there are things going on in the world, and I don't really want to discuss my reaction to the Osama bin Laden thing in part because everyone's reactions seem to have turned into finger-pointing about everyone else's reactions, and I feel like we have now reached a point where if I say that my reaction was X, it will feel to people whose reactions were more like Y or Z like I am saying that X is the right reaction and Y and Z are the wrong reactions. And I don't feel that way. And I also don't fully know what my own reaction is. Suffice it to say that I have mixed feelings on a lot of counts. And I imagine that most other people do too.
You know, on September 11 I was in France. I had just moved there two weeks prior, I didn't really speak French yet, and because of the time difference the events of that day unfolded at three o'clock in the afternoon for me instead of first thing in the morning the way they did for most Americans, and really, the time of day isn't important but in my mind it seems important because that afternoon, the amount of the day that had already gone by, the classes I'd already gone through at school, the amount of sunlight that was shining when one of my French classmates came up to me in the school courtyard and tried to explain to me what had happened, with limited success because I didn't really speak French yet... all of those things are very intertwined with my memories of that day. Afternoon. Sun. Late in the daytime. A whole day of not knowing, already gone by, while in the US the day had barely started.
Anyway, that was a bit of a tangent but my point is, it happened when I was in France and I didn't get home after that for another nine months and when I got home things had changed drastically and I was startled at what felt like a very sudden change to me. And I sort of missed the more laid-back attitude of the French people I'd been surrounded with during the initial aftermath. I guess it felt, somehow, like there was more listening happening in France, and more talking happening in the US, and it was weird to go from one to the other. I liked the listening. I was there, listening. We were all listening, in France. Talking too, of course. But also listening.
And now, it's almost 10 years later and the President of the United States addresses the nation, the world really, to say that Osama bin Laden has been killed, and the reactions everywhere are varied in style but all quite intense. Torsten and I watched the news for awhile on Sunday night, I read some reactions on Twitter, and then we went to bed. Then yesterday morning I logged onto Facebook and at the top of my news feed was a comment from my French host brother which, loosely translated, read, "Obama says justice has been done. But is death really justice?"
A valid question, not too far off from some of my own thoughts on the topic... but the comments on the question, oh my. Nobody actually answered the question, or tried to. Instead, it turned into a discussion about whether bin Laden has actually been killed. The consensus was that he has not, that he continues to elude everyone's grasp, that this was a stunt for Obama's reelection campaign, that the burial at sea was nothing more than tossing the body into the ocean before anyone has a chance to notice that it isn't actually bin Laden's body, that Americans are a bunch of liars and always have been.
I know, I know, everyone posts ridiculous things on Facebook, we're all exposed to it, we should just block the wackos from our news feed and move on with our lives. But these weren't the wackos. These were the listeners from 10 years ago, now making absurd and cruel statements without any real awareness of what they're talking about.
I guess right now they aren't listeners anymore. They've morphed into talkers. But I'm still here, I'm still listening. I might be their lone American Facebook friend, but I am still there, reading what they have to say and cringing over it. The words aren't falling on a void. At least... not completely.
I'm here. I'm listening. And I don't love everything I'm hearing. But I don't necessarily want to respond to it, either. Sometimes it's easier to just choose not to engage. And therefore... silence.
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