Saturday, August 23, 2008

Like a nightmare, but not

Most mornings the clock radio comes on, two or three minutes of music and then news headlines -- so often I've almost stopped hearing them, "suicide bombing kills X#" It just goes on and on. This morning I awoke well before the clock radio came on remembering a photo from the paper: a couple of policemen/soldiers, in front of them arranged in a sort of square were many pairs of shoes, and around the square of shoes Arab women in their long cloaks [not burqas] -- perhaps their husbands/fathers/sons were in the hospital behind the soldiers, their bodies torn apart by a suicide bomber. Where their shoes among the group? Relatively poor people, the dead did not have many pairs of shoes, what they were wearing when they died would be familiar to the women in their lives. Were the shoes blood spattered? What is it like to live where this is what you do to find out if someone you love is dead?

I see the pictures of grief stricken faces, mostly men, carrying victims of all kinds of violence, wars, "friendly fire", attacks many places in the world. They are moving but this simple picture ... obviously it had buried itself in the memory and demanded attention at 5:15 in the morning.

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