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EXPLOITS OF THE VOLEQUEEN

On Being Creative, A Mother & Bipolar

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Lebanon

It Hit Me Hard

Rushing to get baby milk, driving past the refugee tents in Berg, Bavaria I noticed something out of the corner of my eye.  Two families queued at the makeshift gates requesting entry.  They looked exhausted and grey.  I hope relieved and reassured.

One woman in a lilac headscarf and thick tights was holding a baby, my daughter’s age. My baby  is wrapped up snug and warm in her crib and this woman’s baby is out in the November night waiting with his/her family for admittance to the camp.

I then walked to the local Rewe City and was queueing behind two Syrian men.  One was older, I remember his piercing amber eyes and when he saw I had baby milk he insisted I go ahead of them.  I nodded my thanks and began to cry.

I was seeing humanity at its very best.  Here was a man, having experienced at the very least the terror of war on his doorstep, still able to show compassion and kindness.  I shook his hand and mumbled something stupid and inane.

I have been numb the last few days.  Talking the talk, writing, blogging and tweeting about the devastation in Paris, Lebanon and around the world but I wasn’t feeling it.  I could empathise and be angry but I was immune to actual sadness.

Tonight, it hit me like a freight train.  I don’t recognise my world anymore.  I’m living somebody else’s life and I don’t like it.  What the hell has happened?  I’m frightened, confused and dismayed.  I feel wasted, banal and emotionally underfunded.

And then a bloke lets me go first in the queue and I think, perhaps we are going to be okay.  Perhaps, we can do this together.

This Generation’s Crisis Point.

When I was in my late teens/early twenties, my generation were still surfing the end of the Aids massacre, nuclear war and the beginning of Global Warming fears.   Now, our older children and young adults face a World War of unimaginable proportions.   It is both a cold war and a hot war.  It is on the ground and in our minds.  It has no single enemy and no ready solution and it is a religious war of the very worst  kind.

Today, I talked briefly with Fred and Iz,  two lovely pupils at my son’s school here in Germany.  They are both exceptionally intelligent and well-informed and very, very anxious.   Both of them believe Germany will be next in line for some terrible act of violence.   They are dismayed with Angel Merkel for allowing such undisciplined charity in a time where ‘being kind’ can lead to grand-scale murder.

But mostly, both girls just couldn’t believe that men and women, only a few years older than themselves,  wanted to embark on such a journey  Why did they want to hurt, maim, terrorise and murder in such vivid style and how could the world ask them to stop and be heard?   The lasting impression I had before they boarded the school bus was that they had so many questions.  Important questions that deserved to be answered.

And I felt utterly futile because I couldn’t answer them competently or provide the comfort they sought.

Because, ‘Why?’ really is the question of the hour.

The next one should be ‘How?’.

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