Describing 2011 as the globe's "Annus horribilis" is probably a bit cutesy! Even so, it has been one hell of a year so far, eh?
Crippling droughts to rip roaring storms and floods; riots, terrorist killings, Coup d'Etats and civilian rebellions; wobbly economies, Wikileaks and stock market crashes; earthquakes and volcanic ash plumes; the tsunami to end all tsunamis, killer tornado's, hurricanes and cyclones; nuclear meltdowns, extreme famine; phone hacking, Amy Winehouse, pageant mums and carbon tax. Whatever next?
Unless you're living - by choice - in a cave somewhere quiet and news free, you'll probably be feeling the effects of massive disaster/compassion/shock fatigue like me right?
I'm so over the manic quality of 2011.
It's as if the gods were about to use us as the ball in a celestial cricket match. Some Shane-Warne-wannabe-demi-god up there, is intently rubbing this little blue planet against his crotch, licking his upper lip with focused glee as he sights poor goddess Diana down the other end of the pitch. Lord help us!
Meanwhile, those naughty gods have forgotten that their ball is a indeed, a planet...with human beings. Human beings they're supposed to be looking out for because we're fragile and silly but ever so precious and rare. Every one of us.
The human race and this ball we call 'home' are definitely taking a beating this year. At least that's how it feels. Are we being carefully prepared for even more catastrophic happenings just around the corner? I hope not!
I sense that there is already way too much compassion fatigue. I know I have it in spades at the moment. There are just too many shocks slugging at my emotional spidey senses.
I always try to dig deep for anyone caught up in unbelievable tragedies, but this year it feels like my pockets aren't nearly deep enough to make a dent of a difference. It's easy to think 'Why bother?' It can seem so hopeless sometimes. That isn't an excuse to stop helping, just that keeping up with this apparent onslaught of tragedy after tragedy is so draining and soul destroying.
Perhaps this is why Will and Kate's wedding was I think, pretty much, the one genuinely collective joyful moment we've had this past year. How gracious of them to choose 2011 as their year to marry. A day to celebrate incredible lightness of being and for setting our hearts aglow with wonder and delight. Their wedding day gave us a tiny ray of inspiration and hope that we can overcome anything. I'm not even into the royal family that much, but I do remember the simple joy I felt on that day, knowing that True Love does indeed, exist. It was so sweet and romantic, so pompously pleasant. All those miles of lovely smiles to warm the cockles of our anxious hearts. God Bless 'em for that amazing, wonderful moment!
A few months on and again there's that uneasy undercurrent of anxiousness about what next egregious event lays in wait around the bend. Things feel uneven, distorted and the energy seems "off" - although don't ask me what I mean by that as I have no idea, it just *feels* that way.
Am I reading too much into things do you think?
I have had the thought that, given the enormity of tragedy this past year, countries around the world will soon be drawing down their metaphorical shutters, . Battening down the hatches, so to speak. I think people everywhere may suddenly decide to go back to being "tribal" rather than "global" for awhile. The more depressing the news, the more these tribes will hunker down, ever more vehemently protective of their own. And this will be true for internet tribes too I reckon. It'll be like the worlds people are under blankets, too scared to peep out into the dark, too terrified to hang a toe over the edge, lest the monsters underneath nibble at them.
The risk with this happening is that creeping fear will become blatantly open xenophobia and we all know what happened the last time somebody decided a particular race was to blame for the world's woes. That mustn't happen again... ever!
So? Is this the Armageddon? End Times? The Great Tribulation? The Beginning of The End of All Life as we Know It?
Well, I don't think anyone actually believes the world will end on the 21st December 2012 but...sheesh! With events of this year, one does do a mini double take at the concept! It does feel like there's major change afoot on all sorts of levels, both human and terrestrial. I guess my grandparents generation must have felt similarly at the beginnings of both world wars and that nasty economic depression in between. Nice thought? Not!
Maybe I'm over dramatising! I certainly hope so. But, if we are going to have more large scale floods, riots, terrorist attacks, coups, earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, droughts, tornados, cyclones, hurricanes, nuclear meltdowns and mouse plagues within the next year and a bit, I'm defs off to find me a nice quiet, news free cave! Care to join me?