Saturday, December 29, 2007

Foreboding, Hope, and Peace

I have a powerful sense of foreboding today. The first contributing factor was last night's dream. I dreamt of leaky roofs and water running down our interior house walls, probably because it rained rather hard at one point during the night. Pam was marching around the house, hollering that we needed to do something, while I just looked at the walls and shrugged as if to say, do what? I can’t control these things.

The other factor was Andrew (always the kids). He drove to Long Island yesterday. We had lunch at Mike’s Hot Dogs and he left from there at about 1 in the afternoon. By 5:30 we had no phone call; naturally, I was mentally pacing by that time. I dialed him and got his voicemail. He called soon after 6; traffic from the northern suburbs and across the ThrogsNeck bridge had been heavy, slow going, but he made it with little problem. I shouldn't worry, he's a responsible and careful person; but it's instinctive for parents, I guess.

So it’s not the rain and a leaky roof. And Drew is no longer driving all over metroNewYork, and will be in good hands with his girlfriend and her family through New Year’s. The first isn't reality, and the second is just parental fears.

The final factor is Bhutto. Her assassination is startling to me. It could be foreseen: attempts on her life were made the day she re-entered her native Pakistan in October. She was under constant guard, and she choose to lift her head through the sunroof of her protected vehicle. She now becomes a martyr, but with a different style: female, beautiful, Harvard-educated, the political daughter of a former prime minister who hugged her father before he was hanged for political reasons years ago. I do not know the social, political, and familial dynamics of that country, but she seems to represent a social order that is the current antithesis of the religious intransigience from Al-Queda and the Taliban.

The Jewish/Islamic middle east has five fuses: Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. They have been smoldering for decades, and a few of them have exploded at various junctures. Bhutto’s death might signal another explosion, and it could be the most dangerous of all.

We just celebrated Christmas, a holiday that represents the essence of hope and peace. Hope for Peace.

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