Friday, 8 November 2013

The Word-a-day Writing Challenge

Day Forty-Six: Confound

Today the BBC speaks of Typhoon Haiyan "sweeping" across the Philippines. I only caught snippets—380 km/hr winds; 15 meter waves; devastation, though not as much as they'd expected. Expected. Imagine, waiting for such a thing. A 747 leaves the ground at about 290 km/hr. Picture a wall of jumbo jets battering the shores of your life. Ok, someone says on Facebook, I'll stop complaining about the weather now. Perspective keeps us kind, I think, and humble.

And what do we do with that? Who do we blame? —Global warming? —Fukushima? —The downstairs neighbour's dog? —Ourselves; each other? —God? I don't know, really, except that if aliens are watching the news even half as much as I do (which isn't much), it's no wonder they haven't come for us yet. This is the world we live in: Weather that plots to annihilate whole countries, the mayor of Toronto high on crack, and the premieres of Alberta and BC making pipeline deals while nobody's watching. You take the good, you take the bad? Everything's bigger in Texas? Batten down the hatches? There's a catch phrase in there somewhere, something irresistible to captivate and confound. 

Meanwhile, we're all just doing...well, if not our best, then at least what we know how to do. Paying our mortgages, trying not to eat carbs, keeping ourselves informed. We quit smoking, we quit drinking, we quit getting fat. We have a cigarette, we have a drink. And, as it turns out, we happen to like carbs. It's not what we expected. There's no question about that. And maybe we're not who we'd hoped to be, but we're something and we're here. Together, I'd like to think. 

Ever tried, writes Samuel Beckett. Ever failed. 

No matter. Try again. Fail again. 
Fail better.

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