I am puzzled about how life simply seems to go on while there are so many ongoing wars and wars within wars. I ask, “How do I go on with my daily life blinded to the manifestation of so much suffering…so much destruction of lives, hopes, dreams and procreation of anger, trauma, and rejected/negated refugees?” “Do I have an unconscious belief in an impenetrable barrier between those in unknown parts of world and I?” “Does identifying people as those and them serve to further eradicate them from humanity…to lessen a moral imperative?” “What kind of world would it be if humans were forced to silently pause during the duration of pounding missiles? or maybe…during frozen moments of time between bombings?”

multi-tasking: cell gazing while protesting

no war

“The US and Britain have been making war in the Middle East for 18 years without pause. The “conflicts of 9/11” must rank among the cruelest and most costly and senseless of the post-imperial age, says Simon Jenkins.

Unknowable thousands of civilians have died, and billions of pounds’ worth of property been destroyed. Christianity has been all but wiped out in the region, and some the finest cities in the ancient world have been bombed flat. No audit has been made of this. The opportunity cost must be unthinkable. What diseases might have been eradicated, what climate crisis relieved. “

cited: the guardian, 11/15/19

Seven years later, civil war continues to loom in Syria destroying the world they once knew and tearing families apart. Millions of Syrians are living amidst unimaginable violence and uncertainty. 12 million people, over half of the pre-war Syrian population, are either internally displaced or have had to flee the country in search of safety.…

via How to Help Syrian Children From Losing Their Childhood — Thirdeyemom

brendakofford_dandelionproject9118b-webThe ocean of suffering is immense, but if you turn around, you can see the land. The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy. When one tree in the garden is sick, you have to care for it. But don’t overlook all the healthy trees. Even while you have pain in your heart, you can enjoy the many wonders of life — the beautiful sunset, the smile of a child, the many flowers and trees. To suffer is not enough. Please don’t be imprisoned by your suffering. … When you have suffered, you know how to appreciate the elements of paradise that are present. If you dwell only in your suffering, you will miss paradise. Don’t ignore your suffering, but don’t forget to enjoy the wonders of life. For your sake and the benefit of many beings.

When I was young, I wrote this poem. I penetrated the heart of the Buddha with a heart that was deeply wounded.

My youth
an unripe plum.
Your teeth have left their marks on it.
The tooth marks still vibrate.
I remember always,
remember always

Since I learned how to love you,
the door of my soul has been left wide open
in the winds of the four directions.
Reality calls for change.
The fruit of awareness is already ripe,
and the door can never be closed again.

Fire consumes this century,
and mountains and forest bear its mark.
The wind howls across my ears,
while the whole sky shakes violently in the snowstorm.

Winter’s wounds lie still,
Missing the frozen blade,
Restless, tossing and turning
in agony all night.

I grew up in a time of war…Once the door of awareness has been opened, you cannot close it. The wounds of war in me are still not all healed. … Embrace your suffering, and let it reveal to you the way to peace.

~Thich Nhat Hanh (The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching, pp. 3-5)

wpc_corner2web

The above image, “My Corner of of the World” submitted in response to Ben’s weekly photo challenge is a sharp contrast to the various reports that are coming out of Yemen, “The World’s Worst Humanitarian Crisis.”

The New York Times, reports:

“It’s a slow death…We’re just waiting for doom or a breakthrough from heaven…

“Repeated bombings have crippled bridges, hospitals and factories. Many doctors and civil servants have gone unpaid for more than a year. Malnutrition and poor sanitation have made the Middle Eastern country vulnerable to diseases that most of the world has confined to the history books.

“In just three months, cholera has killed nearly 2,000 people and infected more than a half million, one of the world’s largest outbreaks in the past 50 years

“The [coalition airstrikes have] killed and wounded civilians…bombings have also heavily damaged Yemen’s infrastructure, including a crucial seaport and important bridges as well as hospitals, sewage facilities and civilian factories. …[making] it harder for humanitarian organizations to bring in and distribute aid.

“The United States is also a major donor [of humanitarian aid], as well as a primary supplier of arms to the members of the Saudi-led coalition. Although the United States is not directly involved in the conflict, it has provided military support to the Saudi-led coalition, and Yemenis have often found the remnants of American-made munitions in the ruins left by deadly airstrikes.”

Al Jazeera, August 23, 2017 notes:

The military intervention in Yemen led by the Saudi Arabia’s military has proven to be a “strategic failure” that has killed more than 10,000 people and injure more than 40,000 to date. Yet, a full and official withdrawal is unlikely, “A retreat means defeat…”

All of this leaves me questioning the distractions of the never-ending, on-going political drama from the White House that blinds and deafens me to the unimaginable in Yemen, as well as to the emotional, physical, and relational injury to members of the American military, their families, and Afghanistan civilians in what has become a fading, if not forgotten war, in my corner of the world.

 

Generally speaking, Heaven and Earth endow the generality of men with the same mediocre qualities, so that one is hardly distinguishable from the other.  Not so, however, in the rare instances of the Exceptionally Good and the Exceptionally Evil that flash through the pages of history. The first embodies the Perfect Norm of Heaven and Earth; the second, its Horrid Deviations. The first comes into the world when Harmony is to prevail; the second, when Catastrophe impends. The first ushers in peace and order; the second brings war and strife. Examples of the first are the Emperors Yao, Shun, Yu, and T’ang, the Kings Wen and Wu, the sages Confucius and Mencius, and such philosophers as the Ch’eng brothers and Chu Hsi; examples of the second are the tyrants Ch’ih Yu and Kung Kung, Chieh and Chou and the First Emperor, and such usurpers and traitors as Wang Mang, Huan Wen, and Ch’in K’uai.

window

Today, under our divine Sovereign, peace and prosperity reign…which manifest itself in the form of sweet dew and gentle breeze.  …there is no place under the clear sky and the bright sun for the Deviations from the Norm; these had to hide their ugly heads in the abysmal chasms in the bowels of the earth, where they lie inert and powerless. But occasionally, pressed upon by the clouds or wafted by the winds, traces of these evil elements find their way into the upper air and clash with the traces of the Norm, causing violence storms and thunder and lighting. (Trans: Chi-Chun Wang: Tsao Huueh-Chin, Dream of the Red Chamber, pp. 22-23)

I began the day with the intention to nourish myself by avoiding the Twitter Wars by engaging in literature; that is, Dream of the Red Chamber which was written sometime around 1742.  Yet, as my eyes fell upon page 22 I stumbled out of historical China and into the present time, this time of Horrid Deviations.

This passage and image are  submitted in response to the”traces of the past” challenge posed by Lost in Translation.