Completely beyond my experience

It’s a pleasant winter day here. The sun is shining, and it’s a lovely day. I’m looking forward to having some friends see my choir performance this evening, and cooking some soup for Shannon; she had a wisdom tooth pulled yesterday, but is recovering just fine.

Meanwhile, half a world away, the people who kidnapped the man I know have published their demands: their hostages will be killed Thursday, unless all Iraqis currently detained by the US and UK are released before then. This, of course, is politically impossible, and everybody involved knows that. Various people, from Hamas and prominent Sunni clerics to Arundhati Roy and Tariq Ali, have asked the kidnappers to change their mind, but it’s not at all clear how rationally they’re thinking at the moment. I understand that these people are so pissed off at the occupation that they’ll do anything at all, but still, this just isn’t helpful for the general situation in Iraq, let alone of the lives of these activists. They knew what they were getting into, and are there in part out of faith that should something like this happen their captors would be amenable to reason and realize that they were on their side. Perhaps that’s part of the reason that nothing like this has happened before, even though 120 CPT members have spent time in Iraq over the past three years.

And here I am, going about my day, confident in the knowledge that no-one’s likely to blow up my house, or drop bombs on my family, or otherwise do me in. There’s a complete disconnect between my life experiences here, and what’s happening to these people, and no matter how hard I try to imagine what they’re going through, I can’t really do it. I really do care, but to what end? Things like this are enough to make me wish I believed in prayer. I’m not sure what else I can do but walk around in a pre-occupied daze for a little while.

And on that note, we now return you to your regularly scheduled Saturday morning.