I don’t watch TV anymore. I only skim the morning paper. I get my news from conversations with informed people and over the internet – specifically from NPR and two shows on an American news channel known for their journalistic ethics and clear, unapologetic progressive bias. I expect to be protected from sensationalism and brain-searing images. I expect to not have to shield my eyes from the likes of kneeling orange jumpsuits and black sword-wielding masks. Unfortunately, the news today was of the kind that won’t allow itself to be unseen. There was no avoiding the images. They were everywhere.
Tiny motionless bodies on beaches and packed trains headed toward camps.
There was a time when I was better equipped to deal with such thoughts. When I taught Business and Sociology students, I kept up with all the news and tried to make my courses as relevant and current and thought-provoking as they could be. I would have taken the events of the past few weeks and turned them into food for thought and debate – maybe even action. Now, in my new alternative world, my first instinct is to seek refuge. To “flee back” to my “hiding place”. In my case, my library, my laptop.
“shelter or protection from danger or distress,” late 14c., from Old French refuge “hiding place” (12c.), from Latin refugium “a taking refuge; place to flee back to,” from re- “back” (see re-) + fugere “to flee”
We are all refugees.
Those people who want to be somewhere where bombs don’t fall.
Those people who want to be somewhere where they don’t have to think about people running from bombs falling.
Those people who don’t want to think about people.
Those people who don’t want to think.
Those tiny people.
Those tiny bodies.