Sunday, November 4, 2007

Beauty in the Breakdown...

" The Spanish struggle is the fight of reaction against the people, against freedom. How could anybody think for a moment that I could be in agreement with reaction and death? ... In the panel on which I am working, which I shall call Guernica...I clearly express my abhorrence of the military caste which has sunk Spain in an ocean of pain and death." --Pablo Picasso

Man, do I ever wish I had the eye of Mr. Picasso. Only such an artist could capture the sheer chaos and destruction of warfare for those of us so far removed from the madness. While Guernica is Picasso's reaction to the Nazi's aerial raids on Spain's Basque village of the same name, I think the mural is a true testiment to the tragic downfalls of human nature.

But seriously, what do I really know about such pain and suffering? I've led a privileged life in one of the richest nations of the world--the land of the haves. In addition to my unlimited access to food, shelter, water, healthcare, education, malls, Ipods, Wallmarts, and Petceteras, I have never lost my city in aerial attacks, I have never lost a loved one in a roadside bombing, and I have certainly never lost any of my rights so meticulously enshrined in Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedom. Needless to say, I've been lucky...VERY VERY lucky.

However, I realize that on the world stage, I am a complete anomaly. Not only have I been reminded of this by my family, whose roots are deeply entrenched in Third World poverty, I had the opportunity of recently crossing paths with a young Congolese women. For the sake of this post, I will call her Tomi, and her story is one of both tragedy and triumph. While growing up in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), she endured years of civil warfare, poverty, and the ubiquitous AIDS pandemic which has waged its own war on her entire continent. She has told me about the DRC's rampant occurrences of rape, the aggressive recruitment of child soldiers, and the overall helpless feelings surrounding such a life in turmoil. Even more heartbreaking is the fact that Tomi is only 24 years-old. But despite growing up in this inexplicable reality, her faith has not been shaken. In search of a better life for both herself and her family, Tomi immigrated to Canada two years ago, and eventually landed a career as a homecare support worker. While she had to leave her family behind, Tomi sends a big cut of her paychecks to her parents in order to help them care for their basic needs back in the DRC. If that isn't enough, Tomi is saving up her hard-earned cash in order to send her younger sister to college once she arrives in the country. This women is truly an inspiration.
In the end, while Guernica serves to remind us of the dark, and even cruel depths of the human condition, the Tomis of the world let us know that sometimes, there can be beauty in the breakdown.
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3 comments:

Neena said...

You are right. We really need to be thankful for all that we have. Women like Tomi are an inspiration and a reminder that there is a different world out there.

Divinyl said...

Is the title to this blog because of the Imogen Heap song? If so, many kudos points to you! :o)

--Bamboo Blitz-- said...

Yes it is, divinyl...Very cool that you're a fan too. I love Frou Frou and I just had to borrow the title cuz it was really quite fitting...

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I used to friggin love this game as a kid!! You have to play at least one game!