Tangled webs

February 27, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

Anyone with long hair or who has a child with long hair, knows about untangling and the patience it takes to untangle. 

It can happen to any of us: all your gold and/or silver chains get tangled or the string/ropes you’re using – the thread in your sewing basket and you can spend hours undoing the mess. You have to be careful not to break the expensive chain, not to pull on your child’s hair, or the the ropes, the thread – not lose yourself in the frustration of untangling. 

We – human beings – have put ourselves through an unending history of wars and conflicts, on every scale. Given how many people have been and are being killed off by our endless battles, it’s amazing that we are still increasing the global population of ourselves, while we’re reducing the population of every other living thing – to make room for ourselves, I guess.

As our history continues, as we create more technology, communication and more means to make our lives easier, the contrary appears to taking hold: that our lives are becoming more complicated, dangerous and entangled.

Nature abhors imbalance. Where our weapons of mass and singular destruction have not succeeded in killing off enough of us to keep our numbers under control, Nature herself is prepared to assist with that by introducing, at random, wicked viruses capable of sweeping away millions. That we battle against and, for the interim, succeed to quell and repress these rampant viruses, only allows a state of remission, for where one virus has been beaten back, before long, another will arise.

We cling to life and who could blame us? All things strive to stay alive. Yet, in our every day, every minute, we work at self-destruction on a massive scale. If we were not in such a hurry, we might be able to see more clearly. What if we were to make one day every week, a slow down day. Could be Sundays, there’s a logic to that, a history. Just one day a week – a month – when we sit quietly and think. 

To think but not necessarily to share those thoughts with the whole world because that requires speed and intensity. To think on our own or with a person close to us, a person to think with. No phones, no angst, just calm.

Imagining how to untangle that which ties our stomachs into knots; stops us from succeeding; clouds how we react to the world around us, needs undistracted time. From world leaders, currently hauling the world deeper into chaos and tangled webs to every person in small places, calm and thinking might be all there is to bring the chaos into light and clear away some of the messes. 

What are they thinking about: President Bashar al-Assad, bombing hospitals and refugee camps in northwest Syria, causing the next level in historical humanitarian crisis? What about Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran, if it were he who gave the go-ahead to bomb an unidentified (so they said) airplane that was simply an airplane carrying civilians home? A mistake? It made no difference to the families of the people who died.

What about Putin, what does he truly hope for by pushing the buttons of countries around the world, influencing elections, supporting this war and that? 

What about Trump, leaving Mexican children in cages along the U.S./Mexican border, ill and hungry, afraid and crying for months and months?

What about us piling our garbage up at the end of our driveways, with no notion and not enough caring about where that garbage will go to be stored, not recycled, not safely incinerated, not turned into green energy?

What about us again, shopping and consuming the worst rubbish on the grocery store shelves, giving no thought to where ingesting that non-food could lead us by way of our weight and our health?

We are all responsible for untangling the web to which we have, one way or another, added our mess.

One day a week – a month – of calm, quiet reflection on our folly at best, our crimes at worst.

Across Canada, our original inhabitants are working very hard to do some of that untangling. They come with simple solutions to over complicated problems: I believe their message is: “it has to stop here. If we stop the trains from moving, maybe this message will be heard, at last, in a meaningful way.” 

Industry panics, their projects halted, millions of dollars down the drain; the government shakes between the choices it has but the message remains clear and the demonstrators will defy even the proposed unlawful laws of tyranny and everyone will have to take the long way around.

Yet, the message is set aside or ignored. All this effort to untangle the long historical mess and we call in the police, just as we have been doing for the last 150 years.


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