Thursday, February 3, 2011

on difference & travel

i meant to post a travel photo since last friday, when the new photo friday came up: "travels". now it's thursday. and i found the right image in the first folder i opened. a Himalaya moment. experienced in Lanzarote.

in the news today, images from Cairo. a place i havn't been to yet. and images of Yemen. where i once had a stamp from, in those childhood days of collecting stamps. when the understanding you had about those places the foreign stamps came from was about the same size as the stamp itself.

following the theme of "on difference", today a different poetry collection went online in daily s-press: "70 faces - Torah Poems" by Rachel Barenblat (who once contributed a morning star to blueprintreview.) while putting the feature together, i visited Rachel's blog Velveteen Rabbi, and came across this quote that still echoes in my mind:

"It’s as though we never prayed for our Arab neighbors to become liberal democracies. As though we never hoped to see free elections, multiparty systems, freedom of expression, and civil rights. Yet now that we see the flames of democracy engulfing the streets of Cairo, we are overcome by deep anxiety."
followed by her own reflection: "I recognize that it's easy for all of us out here in the Diaspora to opine about Middle East politics, with the safety and comfort of distance between ourselves and that part of the world." - from: On Egypt, protest, and liberation.

which connects to a blog note i read today on our view to history, by Jason Sanford, about the comfortable place we have when discussing slavery: "While it is easy to look back at slavery and say we enlightened modern people would never have supported such a horrible system, we're saying that from the comfort of a 150 years distance. Instead of saying how you'd have fought against slavery if you'd been alive back then, find a major societal trend in today's world and see how accepting you are of it." - from: As Your Great-Grandparents Saw the World

if we lived in a different place, or in a different time, our opinions would be different. what would i do if i were an Egyptian woman and lived in Cairo these days? i don't know. it's not really that far away. at the same time, it's worlds away. light a candle, probably. here, and there. and try to learn to see the larger perspective. as difficult as it is.

update, a day later:a larger perspective: Ten Things You're Not Allowed to Say at Davos

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