Tuesday, April 17, 2007

It’s hard to want to do anything in this world when chaos becomes currency.

I get tired of people who think an over abundance of generosity in a time of crisis is a receipt for being kind the rest of the year. We poor money into tsunami relief and line up to pile sandbags at the foot of the flood, but we find it a burden to extend a hand to someone who is drowning mentally. Hard to be civil when crammed in the subway or bumped in line at the bodega.

I wonder how I am supposed to get up and make art with a symphony tomorrow when mothers and fathers have lost their children. Lost their children to war, poverty, disease, and the audacity to take human life without a thought as to the pain it causes.

What do I say to my students when they tell me they don’t feel safe going to school, walking home, or opening their front door? When they are saturated with speculative information from the television news networks, radio stations, and the Internet. When they are treated like prisoners in order to keep them secure.

How do I assure them that there is beauty to be found in their lives even in the midst of all the ugliness they encounter? Beauty to be found if they aren’t hit by a drunk driver, caught in the crossfire, or left behind by our system of education. Beauty to be found if only they can live long enough to experience it.