Letter From New York 10 14 15 A toxic brew in a seething cauldron…

Obama. Biden. Greene County. Indianapolis. Minneapolis. Baltimore. Syria. Russia. Putin. Assad. Refugees. Turkey. The Kurds. Al Qaeda. Saudi. Yemen.

I’m sitting here at my desk at the cottage, looking out at the drive, littered with leaves. The world around me has become a riot of color and I passed by crimson trees on my way west to an appointment on the far side of Greene County, flaming to the sky against a grey horizon.

Most of the day has been like that, grey and forlorn, right for this time of year, the time of year a year ago when I determined I would write more frequently even though I mailed the letters less. They are up on Facebook and LinkedIn and at my website, www.mathewtombers.com.

Monday evening, rather late, I returned from two weeks of traveling. Baltimore, New York, Indianapolis, Minneapolis and when I opened the door of the cottage I was flooded with relief at being home and in the safe sanctuary of the little world I have built here.

For two weeks I mostly avoided the news but it has been catching up with me in the last 48 hours, the strum und drang of the world wails on.

By the hundreds of thousands, humans are throwing themselves on the shores of Europe, fleeing ravaged homelands. Half the population of Syria is on the move, internally, externally with more and more attempting to reach Europe. The size of the movement of humans is almost incomprehensible to me.

And there is a toxic mix brewing in this horrible cauldron.

There is IS, Assad, Putin, Turkey, the US, the Kurds, the non-Al Qaeda anti-Assad forces, the Al Qaeda anti-Assad forces, the Iraqis, the Iranians, the Saudis and Yemenis and all sorts of forces and individuals leading them all wanting to defeat someone but not necessarily the same person.

Turkey is complaining we have given arms to the Syrian Kurds. We’re complaining that Russia isn’t targeting IS but forces against Assad that aren’t IS. It is nearly impossible to keep the players straight. The Russians and the US have different outcomes in mind in Syria.

And all the while that the players play, the human condition continues to deteriorate and so millions begin the long journey from somewhere hellish to somewhere less hellish.

It is hard to imagine here in my cossetted corner of the world with the leaves turning and deer roaming the street, slowly sauntering as if there was not a concern in the world.

I feel concern for the world and am struggling with the best way to address it. What does one do in a world that is coming unhinged?

Not long ago I read a great book, “The End of Your Life Book Club.” A woman in her seventies has spent her life in public service and when diagnosed with cancer was running an agency dealing with refugees. She got the diagnosis after return from a camp in Afghanistan. She and her son read and compare books while she is treated with chemo.

It inspires me. As does my brother who is off to Honduras next week to train doctors on some equipment his little organization donated to a hospital there.

Smiling out at the woods, I am hoping the sum of small good gestures will one day overwhelm the acts of evil.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: