22 September 2016

Some days I become a factory for sad thoughts: the night shift starts not when I go to bed, but when I decide to go to bed. As I turn the lights out. the factory lights come on. I used to make them by hand, the sad thoughts, but lately it's become more of an assembly line, the machines doing all the work: I sleep, and in the morning I have another consignment ready for distribution; for export, for import.

Patrick McGuinness 

I watched the documentary about the Syrian Civil Defense last night. It's only half an hour long.
It has won prizes at film festivals. This is the world we live in.

My father only talks about the war when I ask him specifically. Only once did he speak about the bomb raids . Now, he doesn't want me to mention it.
My mother never said a word, but when there was a heavy thunderstorm at night, she would walk the house, silently stand by our beds until my father came to bring her back to bed.
I never even tried to understand, I was far too angry. Why don't you just get on with life, I asked her.


  1. I don't understand war. It completely eludes my intellectual grasp.

  2. Until I saw "Platoon" in spring of 1987, I had little idea what my R had experienced in Vietnam and little knowledge of the experiences of the Vietnamese people. He didn't talk about it. My friend (the same age I am) who was a refugee from Vietnam in 1975 never talked about it. My PTSD, the result of living with R after he returned from war, began manifesting when the First Gulf War began. Until that time, foolish me thought that the U.S. would not go to war again. Now I see no end in sight. How dark do things have to get? I wonder. From the trailer I see that human beings continue to do what they can to help each other, no matter what happens.

  3. That quote is so beautiful and evocative. Made me think of Breughel:

    About suffering they were never wrong,
    The Old Masters; how well, they understood
    Its human position; how it takes place
    While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along...

    The war is always raging somewhere while I take a walk and photograph pelicans or iridescent clouds. I also become a factory for sad thoughts. How is it that this is what we humans have created when there were so many other ways to be?

  4. Both quotes, yours and the commenter's, are movingly succinct for me at this moment...