Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Do you remember when Dorothy pulled back the curtain on the Wizard of Oz, only to reveal someone pretending to be GREAT AND POWERFUL?  Later she said to him, “Oh, you are a very bad man!”  The Emerald City has revealed to be an illusion and there are many scary screaming monkeys flying around us with Camp Auschwitz t-shirts, zip ties and pipe bombs.  On a very darkly funny note, the t-shirts were sold on ETSY and are no longer available.  ETSY, really?

We have to be strong, like Dorothy and her companions.  Brave, Smart, Determined and full of Heart.  Europe and the rest of the world have been dealing with domestic terrorism for eons, so there is nothing unique about our situation.  Remember the tragic bombing at the mosque in New Zealand; the most unexpected of places?  We take stock, grieve the dead and learn a lesson.  The saddest memorial I have ever encountered is for the Oklahoma City Bombing.  I couldn’t get the image of the little chairs for the innocent children in the creche who died.

In all society there are extremists of every type – anarchists, religious zealots and Neo Nazis to name a few.  My late father-in-law will be turning in his grave after his efforts in WWII may have been in vain.  Despite spending 5 years in a POW camp in eastern Germany, he lived a long full life before dying at 93.  His heart was full of forgiveness for the people of Germany and he visited many times after the war.

My neighbors in Egypt went out of their way to protect me when the war broke out.  They wouldn’t tolerate anyone treating me with disrespect even though I drove them crazy rescuing wild animals. 

Most people are good.  Most people are good.  Most people are good.

Keep repeating that as a mantra.  The criminals will be punished and we, as a nation, are shamed.  Humility is a positive quality.  We have looked in the mirror and recoiled.

Let’s stop telling the rest of the world how to run their democracies and countries.  We can work with the UN to help stop the worst of global crimes such as ethnic cleansing.  No one political party or philosophy is entirely guilty or innocent.  Follow the Yellow Brick Road to find our decent core; we can be good but we don’t need to be great.  Now is the time to be strong and kind.  Remember that we all live in glass houses before we cast figurative stones.

Look at the flowers…

carol

Well, I think all we ‘Walking Dead’ fans know who I am today – Carol. She is one of my favorite characters. Worn down, beaten by her husband and then lost her daughter. Out of this tragedy comes a warrior: clever, brave, pragmatic and fearless.  I live in a place exactly like Alexandria and for the most part look like the current persona of Carol. Charming, pleasant lady with a twinset. In a crisis I turn into the other Carol – we need to euthanize the poor little Lizzie who has starting killing bunnies. There is no room in this new world for the dangerous little psychopaths.

I lived through a war zone in Egypt and kept up the superficial Carol persona for the most part. When Hurricane Ike hit our street, I was the voice of reason. We had the generator which we shared with our cul-de-sac, entertained most evenings with as much booze and food as we could gather. Can you believe that police were guarding our supermarkets with guns – what were we going to do, steal all the sardines that were left? There was no ice, no fresh food and I had to speak to the manager about opening the alcohol aisle. I said, “If you don’t let us buy alcohol there really will be a riot”.

We had already experienced Hurricane Katrina and the chaos that ensued from the refugees from Louisiana. Most hotels had to be completely renovated after the guests left and some people just moved here permanently. We sit and enjoy Walking Dead but a natural catastrophe on the scale that recent hurricanes have been, show how quickly society has the capacity to fall apart. Many people in the Houston area had no power for up to 6 weeks – that’s a long time with no air-con, fridge or washing. You could see the blue tarpaulins on the roofs for up to 2 years.

I was in my element while we were all stuck in a crisis – it’s just day-to-day life that I struggle with. Much like Carol.  So far, I haven’t yet had to euthanize any small psychopaths…