Sunday, September 7, 2008

Blood Red Diamond

Last night, hubby and I watched Blood Red Diamond starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Connelly. As you can tell, we're not exactly current in our movie viewing . . . and likely you've seen this particular one so I won't ramble on about the plot. 

As often happens after watching an action/drama movie late at night (or having sex. Toss up as to which happens more frequently -- movie or sex), I couldn't sleep for hours. I came down stairs and stared dumbly at the computer for a while, went back upstairs and swore silently (mostly) at my snoring husband and listened to my never-ending thought stream. There were several disturbing elements to the movie -- child soldiers ripped from their families and forced to do unthinkable things, complete neglect of an entire continent in the face of horrific war crimes and what people will subject themselves and others to for a profit. 

When I was in grad school, I had a class from a professor from Afghanistan who challenged us to question the status quo, make it our business to be informed and raise our voice in some way. He was amazing -- and a wee bit harsh. He had no patience with privileged, ignorant white students who didn't understand the conflict in the middle east, the ways that big business influences our politics and the limitations of our political system. I felt guilty and lazy about my involvement in my community and world at large. I began subscribing to various list serves, watching the news, listening to NPR. And I like to think I did these things because I do feel convicted on the issues (various - including feminism, education and political reform). But I slacked off, had baby #2 and began to feel very, very sad when I watched the news. 

A good part of my work life is hearing awful, can't believe they're true stories. It's as if whatever capacity I have for assimilating trauma and heartache in a meaningful way is topped off and there's not much left for the rest of the world. But I want to be that woman that is in the know, making a difference, educating her children . . . My life is filled with the details of my family and maintaining a certain semblance of balance and then a movie like this keeps me up at night, thinking. I need to be more involved, I need to do more than just care about the issues. Oh man, that means work and time and I just want to go to bed. 

Soon this entry will wander into dangerous and sleep deprived territory. So rather than drag you all (my little imaginary audience!) along with me, I will tuck myself in for the night. Thoughts, anyone, on remaining aware and socially active when consumed with potty training and kindergarten initiations? 

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