I woke up today with a firm sense of the ordinary world. Having not completed two big projects from the previous week and under a deadline, Monday was not to be one of my better days and I suppose that did impact my mood somewhat, though I did quite well reminding myself that what you do to get through life is not the same as what makes life thrive. The thought seemed to help and it is really not as bad as all that, for if the day was to be anything, it was to be grounded.
In the end the projects were completed providing me some relief, but by day’s end I did have to become involved in a non work related matter that required considerable delicacy. Fortunately it is a matter that involves good and just people, which means I have confidence the matter, can be rectified. Still the situation involves urgency and the sooner it is attended to the better.
The weather has also done little for my mood. In typical Chicago fashion we have gone from the hot and dry summer to what has been an incredibly cool and wet day. It is not so much that the weather would bother me if I did not have so many stories that begin their close with the close of summer, a trend that now goes back better than 15 years and is getting a little old. Too bad really, because the fall use to be a time of year when I did not always enjoy the temperature, but did love the situations. Of course autumn and winter, no matter how hard they try, get the short shrift if only because summer has always been very kind to me. (In this there is a certain irony to summer being “ordinary time.”)
My reading over the last day has been eclectic. Besides The Interior Castle and Out West, I gave time over to the coming feast day and accounts of the Omagh bombing.
Of Omagh, I was more than a little reflective. The feast of the Assumption will mark 14 years since the blast. It is sad to reflect on it really, but I think how much more sad to be Irish and to think on it. So much work went into the Good Friday Accord and northern Irish of both confessions were so happy that maybe they could move beyond what Hewson (Bono) called “the revolution most Irish do not want.” (a quote that was about the violence rather than politiacal ends.)
At least Omagh made so many more committed to that peace, though at too great a price.
I do not pretend to know all of what goes into the perceived just causes of what is called the Troubles, but I do know that when people take up arms it usually involves a validity. And I do understand battles, though I do so reluctantly. What I do not understand are massacres. There can be no cause just enough to explain these.
And what do such acts accomplish? They breed anger and sadness and advance no cause. And explosions honor no persuasion. Though planted by the RIRA , the bomb took twice as many Catholic as Protestant lives as well as the life of a Mormon, who certainly had no cause for Irish sectarianism. The sad truth, though, is no one there probably did. Most people do not care who they eat with, whose hand they hold, who they shop with, and who they buy from. Besides those who act from hate have no claim to Christianity. And it is not lost on me that, though I am writing about Omagh, cruelty has abounded on both sides in this matter and this among a people who are much more about joyousness than barbarity.
Then there is the incredible ease to which barbarity may flourish starting with the dehumanization of others. A point in case is how the number of deaths at Omagh was calculated. Though County Tyrone coroner John Leckey wanted the number of deaths set at 31, he was mandated not to include the unborn twins of Avril Monaghan, though she was within a month of giving birth. And that is really at the root of the problem. These little girls (we do know their gender) were ruled not to be human and though you can read the Republic of Ireland press that puts the death toll at 31, almost every other source on the planet will place it at 29. How maddeningly sad? What if the official count excluded Protestants or Catholics because they were less than human? I write this, though I realize that is indeed the problem….massacres are only okay when the lives you take are considered less than human. That is why there can be an Omagh and a myriad of other places just like it.