Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Turbulent Beginning 

Photo by Daron Titizian.

"You sound tired," my sister said.

I was. It was only my second day back at the office after a much-needed Christmas break from work and the world, but I felt drained.

"I am," I said.

"Working too much again?" she asked.

How could I begin to explain all the events that had taken place in the past few days? How could so much pain and tragedy be compressed into a fleeting moment of time in the grand narrative of life?

"You remember our Turkish colleague, Gaye, who was in hospital fighting for her life after a hit-and-run? Well, she died," I said flatly. "Oh..." she said and thought that was it.

But it wasn't. I went on...

"You know, we're still in a state of war really. Tensions on the border have been high, we've already lost several young soldiers. And today, well, today six members of one family were shot dead while they were sleeping in their beds by a Russian soldier," I said. "Everything is so damn personal in Armenia."

It is.

Today, I kept seeing the image of the sole surviving infant of the tragedy in Gyumri, who miraculously survived the gruesome killing of his entire family. I wish people would stop sharing his picture, it's tearing the last shreds of my humanity apart. That innocent child will now grow up without the devotion and caress of his mother's hands, or the love of his father. What kind of life can he expect or will he have?

I walk out of the office to get some fresh air. I see people going about their daily routine, rushing to an appointment, parents picking up their children from school, young couples holding hands, an elderly man walking with a cane, his back bent from a hard life, teenagers laughing.

One emotion tumbles onto the next - anger, pain, resentment, outrage. It's hard, living here, I think to myself. I'm not lost in a crowd of millions like I was when I was living in Canada, it's not an obscure existence. Everyone I see is somehow connected to each other, connected to someone who is connected to me.

And then it dawns on me...we are a big family, a clan, a tribe, we are connected and yes, it is damn personal but it's also the reason why we have to keep on living, to try and find the beauty that I believe exists somewhere. Maybe that is what this journey is about, the desire to find beauty and peace. One day I hope to find it.

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