Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Very Sad

Have you ever said that a place that is really beat up "looks like downtown Beirut?" Well, it's a phrase I hear a lot. I myself used it, too. Until, in the last few years, the city began to recover. It's a wonderful thing to watch a city rebuild after armed conflict. Beirut has become a real showplace.

We all watched as Sarajevo was chopped up, bit by bit, during the fighting and sniping there. It too has begun a remarkable recovery. I was heartbroken when it appeared, night after night, slowly being turned into rubble. And Sarajevo was a wonderfully ornate city, a real jewel in Eastern Europe. I am heartened to watch it begin its return to glory.

Knowing this is possible gives me little hope for Beirut. The conflict has raged there for millennia, for as long as the decendants of Abraham have been battling. It doesn't look like Ishmail and Isaac are going to settle things anytime soon.

It makes me very sad. Beirut has already rebuilt into a beautiful Mediterranean city. I can't begin to express the feelings that assail my heart to watch its destruction yet again. And since I am not immortal, I grieve that I may never see its rebirth.

After a half a century of watching, I may trust it will rebuild, but I may never see it.

Little Pond


Bonita said...

Yes, it is very sad to see the beautiful cities in ruin. I hope one day that all differences can be resolved without this kind of destruction, through a careful dialog, with hearts purged from hatred.

pb said...

When I was little we knew that war ruined cities, and we saw the pictures.

But words cannot express the desolation I feel when we watch a city fall little by little into ruins.

It's like watching a beloved family member slowly descend into senility and waste away.

Bonita said...

Yes, I know what you mean. The horror and outrage is unbearable. I'm still looking at the images, and cannot believe that we inflict such damage. One can only have so many bricks and boards, put them up only to have them torn down, again and again, without at some point dismissing rebuilding. Why bother, if it will all come down again. We here in the west with our beautiful yards, our amusement parks, our magnificent malls - we cannot imagine these things destroyed. Last night I looked at photos of Haifa, where our holy shrines are, on Mt. Carmel, and looked at the shrines, the lights, and I'm holding my breath. I hope they will not be destroyed. I have reservations to go there in 5 years, on pilgrimage. It is a most beautiful spot, with gardens and fountains that we've spent 40 years building. I've contributed portions of my income for decades to see those structures built and beautified. They are at peril, and my friends there are in peril. I simply wait, in horror.

pb said...

Bonita, please take heart. People will rebuild, even as the enemy is still destroying.

It's what people do. What sort of world would we have if the very grass decided not to grow after we mow the lawn.

It is the nature of life to endure and rebuild and reproduce. In fact we have clinical terms for the people who do not.