“How many ears does it take before one man knows that too many people have died?” ~ Diminished Dylan
“If there were one, it would be cause to wonder and weep, but they are numbered into many thousands, and for each one, I cannot sleep!” Mutated Malvina
Gentle songs of protest from earlier in life, rise to shake themselves off in the present. Such individual musings found lodgment in receptive hearts open enough to be organized into effective (non)violent acts for change. That was back in a non-quarantined populace and non-surveilled state.
Today we are on the cusp of the most organized being armed militia groups arranged as powder kegs ready to be set off in a twittered moment. They are prepared to make whole communities dead for the sake of individual liberty. Gone is all tension but immediate desire.
We used to sing, “It only takes a spark to get G*D’s love growing all around” (well, almost). Such optimistic language in a dire situation misses the needed analysis and commitment required for change. Such cloying sweetness does more to clog ears than open them.
Cloistering, whether for personal health or cultural unity, divides us from a long, slow slog through deeper conversation and massed action that clarifies what needs leaving behind and the facing of imperative risks to move further along.
Wondering about ears and weeping over the disconnect between hearing and heart are signs of a transitional disjuncture that is generations long. They begin within a specific context but take time to be nurtured into a generalized presence within every setting.
At best, some other side of this or a next pandemic that breaks the power of acculturated powerlessness will catalyze enough weeping, sufficient tears, to wash away hyper-individualized uncaring.