It is raining out, a beautiful, insistent, driving sort of rain, the kind filmmakers recreate with machines, the kind that cuts through the minutia and inertia of the day so as to call our attention to our surroundings. Each heavy drop of water lands like a thimble upon the rooftops and the treetops of the city, stitching together the distracted minds of its inhabitants into a single web of humanity, stretched tautly over the chasm of injustice. That most are never aware of this web says more about humanity than it does about the rain, whose job is done as precisely and passionately as any employee of any company.
Today on the radio I hear talk of President Obama’s coming speech regarding Afghanistan, of protests in Syria, elections in the Bhutan and unemployment in the US. Sound waves laden with wrongs not yet righted, carrying the words of those that have been slighted, berate my ears with their incessant cry of “wake up!” I reply, meekly at first, then with all the strength I can muster, that everything from my blood vessels to my synapses have arisen, have thrown off the sheets and showered, and still I pause at the door, uncertain, peering out at a landscape transmogrified by precipitation.
I feel feeble in the presence of so much hunger, poverty, corruption and pollution. The injustice hems me in, a kind of negative New York skyline laced with vertigo. In every direction I turn there is work to be done–more work, to be sure, than can fit in my two hands, but even worse, more than my mind, that wonder of physics, can lift with the pulley of ingenuity or the fulcrum of planning. Everything tells me that the rational thing to do is to focus on one thing, conquer that, and move on, but each injustice cajoles me as fervently as the rain forces life to bloom. On my hands and knees in the midst of a deluge of atmosphere and emotion, I cannot choose between reason and passion. The ancient sorrow trapped in my heart like an insect in amethyst can neither be dismissed nor dislodged, and for all my awareness of the intelligent course of action, sorrow has a way of reaching out to sorrow, and love to love, so that I am forever compelled to be that worst of individuals: concerned for all, unfocused, and doomed to defy logic and obey the dictates of a sadness that predates me, my ideas and the injustice against which I fight.