Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany, 1 January 2017
Fireworks in the fog.
As we stood on Schlossberg overlooking the city this morning many things sprang to mind.
Another year survived.
Considering the grimness of 2016, to be still standing at its end feels like an accomplishment in itself.…
The best barometer of a person’s alcohol consumption seems to be measurable by the frequency and volume of their repeated use of the words “woo hoo”.
Every year the frequency of ambulances seems to be matched by the decreasing age of those using fireworks.
New Year’s Eve is also a night of fear…not because climbing the side of a mountain or navigating dark streets shrouded in fog makes the heart be faster…but for animals the sounds of fireworks terrifies and hurts their sensitive hearing and for the survivors of war these sounds are frighteningly similiar to battle and attack.
The fog also seems prophetic.
2017 is uncertain and worrisome.
But we remember to be grateful for our lives.
Count our blessings such as they are.
Hope illogical for fate being kinder in future and that we learned something from times past.
At 01:15 this morning (or 22:15 Greenwich Standard Time) a gunman opened fire, using an AK-47 rifle, in the Reina nightclub in Orataköy, a suburb of Istanbul, Turkey, killing at least 39 people, (including 15 foreigners – one of whom was a fellow Canadian), injuring at least 69 people.
It shouldn´t have happened.
There was heightened security throughout the city, with 17,000 police officers on duty.
According to the Reina´s owner, security measures at the nightclub had been increased over the previous 10 days after American intelligence officials warned about an attack over the holidays.
The US Embassy later denied this.
At the time of the attack, about 700 people were at the Reina to celebrate the New Year.
Last year, on 28 June an attack at Atatürk Airport killed 48 people.
On 10 December 2016 a bombing at a stadium outside of Istanbul killed 44 people.
Happy “New” Year.
It seems the more things change, the more they remain the same.
Every once in a while a discouraged little voice inside my head whispers this question.
One reads the headlines….
Death to the left of me, corruption to my right, here I am stuck in the middle of nowhere…
So, why bother?
Countries collectively acting against their best interests…
Madmen thinking murder and violence will somehow ease their pain, speed their cause or intimidate princes and powers and principalities who care little for the people they claim to represent…
Folks we carefully choose to trust who after gained that trust show us up to be the gullible fools they knew we were…
Why bother changing the lights on the Eiffel Tower or the World Trade Center?
Will coloured lights and prayers to a God whose existence can’t be proven or who has decided that Mankind must continue to pay for choosing free will actually help?
Will this take away the sorrow of families whose loved ones have lost their lives senselessly?
Will voting change anything, especially in America?
Why bother expressing thoughts that no one reads?
Crying tears that no one dries?
Reading the news that the average person feels powerless to change?
For the same reason that Winston Smith in George Orwell’s 1984 keeps a journal that no one will read.
Because we exist.
We pray, we love, we express our thoughts, we show our humanity…
To ourselves, for ourselves…
And if in this expression we find we are not alone this confirmation bolsters us.
But even if no one reads these words the act of expression is needed to remind ourselves of the importance of thoughts and feelings.
No matter how much they take from us…our possessions, our loved ones, our very lives…while we live, it is this expression that makes us feel alive…
Don’t go into eternity quietly.
Feel and express it loudly.
They may kill the dancers, but never the music.