Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Day After Christmas

As my 33rd birthday nears, I should be thinking about the fun I'm going to be having this weekend, but for 4 days I have, consciously or unconsciously been thinking Japan.  World War II, the holocaust, Hiroshima, seem like a distant history, terrors than could never be equaled, but then I felt that way about Vietnam and then Iraq came along.  I have seen stories about suffering children in Japan during World War II, and one of them, an anime called Grave Of The Fireflies, may have been the single saddest movie I have ever seen. Now it seems that Japan's situation is more dire by the day, as if the earth were still quaking, the water still rushing.  The body count swells and the radiation leaks.  Am I really worried about it coming here?  What has kept me from sleeping well the last few nights, kept my mind going deep into the smallest hours, some intangible restless fear that has no words, possibly no source.  I try to ask myself what is wrong, but it is like looking for a reason in someone's childhood why they suffer from depression.  Sometimes there is no smoking gun, no terrible secret.  It's just the way things are.

Rain taps on the skylights, the wind puppets the trees.  The world is as beautiful as ever.  I am still amazed any of this exists at all in this massive universe.  Every moment is a gift.  Still, it is difficult to think that the climate, overpopulation, and our own technology doesn't have us teetering on an edge, and the abyss below isn't for us, but our children. Insomnia.  Libya.  Tectonic Plates.  Distant Booms

That said, this may be the most terrible/beautiful of all:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Daylight Savings

In the past few years, but especially lately, I have opened my view up from just the arts to the physical sciences, psychology and philosophy.  More and more I am seeing how they are connected, how they inform each other, and how incomplete they can sometimes be when viewed alone.

How can one look at the problems of impulse control in someone with brain damage without taking into account the brain damage?  That would seem silly, yet during most of history, psychologists and their predecessors have done just that.

We can make experiments and teach children endless formulas for turning acids into bases and the perimeter of a triangle, but what about the beauty of a how gravity works or the speed of light?  Where is the magic, the poetry, the story to get them interested?  Where is the thread that connects them with science?

And what is our art without study of what is around us, but the self-centered ramblings of an adolescent?

Daylight Savings tells me it is tomorrow but I know better.  It is always today.