Imagine they are your children; your family -do what you have to do to feel for them. Start small - one thing at a time - and see what we can do.
You start again. You sit there and you write. You write even if it is utter drivel. Then you sit and write some more.
You cannot change everything. You can change some things. Accept what you cannot change. Learn to live with the possible.
You are a published writer: you have a blog. Now your readers must think their own thoughts about what you have reported.Several consciousnesses focussed on the same theme. Better than nothing.
But you can't change the world....Do as much as you can with the constraints that are placed upon us; you can do no more.
I think writers could make a difference. But many of us only want to entertain.
The Telling IS the doing.
Through our blogs, we're gathering in a circle around a fire, talking and crying, laughing and cheering, trying to make sense of this crazy, mixed-up world. And if, in the end, it makes us feel less odd, less lonely and less pessimistic, maybe we won't go out and slap someone.
...you do what you can do... hug and love your children, hug and love your friends, hug and love yourself, and know that...
A man walking down the beach came upon a man who stood among countless washed up sea stars. He was picking them up one at a time trying to throw them into the sea. The walking man hollered, "You know you can't save them all." The other man stopped for just a minute with a sea star in his hand and replied, "I know, but I can save this one." And he threw the sea star back into the sea.
"We're all looking for heaven, which is later and elsewhere. Actually everything in front of us right now is a miracle, here and then gone, forever. What's the nature of that miracle? I don't know: no one does, and that's it's nature. You can't even really say that: but you have to keep on asking the question. That's what makes us human."
Annotated Margins quoting Norman Fischer
Most of us just use our blogs for preening. So that's one small difference You've already made.
...trying to accept being human...guess it's no harder or easier than being anything else...depends where you live..
There are way too many hard, harsh, hideous, cruel things in the world.
I think that I write to try to communicate and interpret the world. Sometimes just writing for me helps to work through some of the unfathomable worldly tangles.
Individually we can be the best friends/neighbours/people we can be. We can shine goodness as best we can.
If we didn’t have journalists and their photographers out in places like Haiti then the world would never know how bad things are. Individually I have no doubt that they do their bit when there but even if they never lifted a hand other than to click a shutter that would be enough. Like many I have the photo of Phan Thị Kim Phúc, the nine-year-old Vietnamese girl running down a road near Trang Bang after a South Vietnamese Air Force napalm attack, embedded in my mind. The same goes for the young man shot in front of our eyes during the '68 Tet Offensive. The sad thing is that over thirty years on I’m still seeing images like this and they don’t affect me like they once did. That doesn’t mean they have lost their power and for some the photos from Haiti will be the first images of a disaster like this that they will have seen and they will be the ones that will become a part of them.
Do you know what I remember about Live Aid? Bob Geldof. Now, why him? Because of the state he worked himself into. You could see how frustrated he was. He didn’t have the words. What words were there? But then we have this wee, scruffy, Irishman getting all worked up at swearing at the British public before the watershed: "Fuck the address, let's get the numbers!" After the outburst, giving increased to £300 per second. He reminded us, the generation who’d cracked jokes in the playground about starving Biafrans, that these were real people; you’d think it was his family that was dying out there and, of course, we’re all related if you go back far enough.
I don’t know the people in Haiti. But I know you. I should feel for them but what I feel is for you. You have become a proxy. I should feel the way you do. We all should. We’ve forgotten how. That’s why we need writers, to hold our hands and lead us into scary places we'd rather not go.
I have that photograph, Jim, along with one of a man being beheaded in a public square - before and after the blade came down - in a highschool text book I didn't return. And others. And for the most part I, too, amble through life with little daily thought about such matters because I am too caught up in my immediate sphere of existence to give them the time of consideration...I remember kids in my class laughing at these images...I remember leaving the room to be sick after looking at the beheading one...I remember Live Aid, the swearing and the pot-bellied kids with big heads and spindle limbs and all the bloody flies, the colour of the dust and the richness of contrast where a droplet of saliva or a tear escaped and the flies going in and out of gawping mouths and feeding on those tears, and how for years afterwards all people remembered was the godawful song...I remember the start to Isherwood's "Goodbye Berlin"..."I am a camera.." and there are dozens of others who have used that same line in one way or another but there's one fundamental problem with that idea...a camera cannot feel, it cannot move of its own accord...we can, I can...there's a difference between passivity and ignorance...observing and ignoring...thank you for reading and for taking the time to make a difference to me...
...while art can seem trivial when compared to the pain and suffering some people go through on a daily basis, I think that it can give some kind of a hope - I think of how listening to music helped me during admittedly much less tougher times - perhaps the frailty and shortcomings of art can be what makes it powerful in a way.
I love the idea that you and I and all other writers - and I add here artists of all types who represent humankind and life - join hands to speak about things that would otherwise not be said or heard.
...it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the horror of it all, the tragedy, the unnecessary unfairness of care/aid/finance. I've certainly been feeling that. And then my daughter comes home all excited about money they've raised at school...and what do you say? 'It's all hopeless, the world is unfair?' No, I didn't say that. At 9 I'm still keeping some of that from her...when I can.
At times like this writing can seem like a bloody stupid thing to be doing. We see nurses on TV and think 'look at them, they can DO something!' But we can't all be nurses. We just can't.
we can't change a world, but we can change our small part of it. I do my best to be decent to other people: I may not be able to love, help or change them, but I can be decent to them. And decency involves truth, sharing thoughts, and listening.
Right then...I'll do what I can...my son's filled his nappy and the sun is shining...onwards...
Vanessa Gebbie's got news on what writers can do to help Haiti over at her blog.