Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A cursed hand

The newspaper and the computer bring me terrible -- and sometimes wonderful, amusing, happy things to consider. I do not avoid the the bits that make my heart clutch as if it's been pieced with a icicle. But I turn to a poetry site or to beautiful photography for an antidote.

Just a small item in the condensed NYTimes  that comes online each morning.  An imam in Pakistan suddenly realized his preaching had gone too far and he rushed out of the mosque as if chased by Lucifer.

Earlier he had preached  his fundamental beliefs as usual and asked at one point if anyone disagreed with something he said.  On hand was raised.  "Blasphemer!" he screamed at the owner of the hand, a young man.  The young man ran out, ran to his home, found a sharp scythe and cut off his hand.

He returned to the mosque with the hand on a platter which he held out to the imam with his left hand. That's when the imam knew the meaning of fear and ran away.

The human species has attempted to become civilized for something like 15,000 years, out of perhaps 150,000 years of living on this planet like all the other beasts. We have learned to live together, we have concocted laws and gods and we have allowed some members of society to have enormous influence over others. Individuals have caused enormous evil, wars, famines, vast inequality among others. Some have learned to practice love and kindness, not just to their small family but toward all others .... those are far too few.

Today's paper also wrote of the quilt seller in Dehli who sells (or rents) quilts to homesless men, and to those whose "homes" are their three-wheeled tiny taxis. These men make barely enough to feed themselves (and often a family somewhere) but have no bed and no blankets for the cold foggy nights that make up winter in Dehli. The seller drives a hard bargain and some must do without warmth.
I read that and remembered an hour ago in my warm bed, thinking how lovely I felt especially as the first morning news told me  it is only 16 degrees outside.  What inequality we have attained in our few short years of civilization!


Kass said...

This post is chilling in so many ways.

June Calender said...

Kass,tnanks for you comment. Those ideas have permeated my day,

barbara judge said...

June -- what a great piece to remind us what comfort a blanket can offer us -- no need for jewels and riches when warmth is our need. -- barbara