I must confess - although Southern California has been my heavenly abode for the past 38 years, I am a closet New Yorker. But my inner NY persona has no desire to leave the balmy, green environs of LA for the stacked cubicles called apartments (all that New York can offer its humans) - not to speak of freezing winters and hot humid summers that make the softly lilting dirt stick to one's skin.
However, thanks to its internet publication, the New York Times arrives in my inbox every day with the regularity of a Swiss train. One would think it would actually get read since I pay $15 a month for the privilege, but more often than not, I simply glance at the headlines. Occasionally, an article will be so enticing that my brain simply must absorb the information, which is never really relevant to the basic question of my life, "To be or not to be," a phrase coined by Shakespeare that eerily resembles a classic Zen koan.
Haste invites mistakes and in a rush to absorb, the following headline, "The Escaped Inmates From Iraq Fuel Syrian Insurgency" was misread. My first thought was that the Times was reporting on some escapees from a state penitentiary, and that this illustrious newspaper should not make a headline out of an irrelevant story for the world stage.
Luckily, the real words sank in a few seconds later and provoked a desire to actually read the article. The historical twists and turns of Sunnis and Shiites, not to speak of Western meddling, has made a catastrophic, twisted, insane, unfathomable mess of that region of the world, although there exist other such hell holes on diverse continents as well.
Suffice it to say that it takes a scholar to understand the background and the current turbulence, and it is not the intention of this blogger to pontificate on something she knows little about. But what does concern my little head as I sit in my glorious and peaceful warm garden is the nature of the human mind that allows atrocity to exist.
Never give up, she thinks. Repetition reaps deeper understanding - or brainwashing - depending on the content being repeated. So I repeat to myself, reconciliation is possible. Peace is possible. We just need to keep reminding each other so that one day it wills sink in at the level of global citizenry.