Fairy Doors and Tsunamis

I know what I’ll next be getting for the lounge. Sure, we need a couple more of those big photo frames that hold several photos in a sort of collage, but I just found what I absolutely, desperately, HAVE TO HAVE! A fellow writer, Starlight, who is a tremendously talented lady (she is also a model and a singer) showed me some of her artwork (so yes, and artist too) – she makes these little fairy doors out of clay. You put them somewhere along the floor against the wall and I am SO getting one. They’re so cute and quirky and I am the kind of person who’d walk by the little door, glance at it and just KNOW there’s a fairy land behind it. Call me a space cadet, but that’s me.

In many ways, I’m still the little girl who didn’t much care for playing games or hanging around with other kids. All I wanted to do was to get lost in my books, fly away to magical lands and explore strange, new worlds. Around six, I was really into the Grimm brothers, and I can conjure up the actual images my young mind created for those stories, I can recall perfectly how I felt. Of course these books didn’t have many pictures, and to be honest I think I was all the better off for it, as my mind had to work to create the imagery. Perhaps that’s why writing turned out to be my path, although it’s not strictly something that “turned out” that way – one of my cousins recently told me how she remembered me telling her when we were five or something, that I was going to write books when I grew up.

Most of my childhood, or at least any moment my parents didn’t send me out to play outdoors, I had my button nose buried in a book. Some stories captured me so much I’d read them over and over. So I need a fairy door.

Just realised what today’s date is. I haven’t read the news yet, but would expect to see something about 9/11. Like many people, I remember the moment, where I was and what I was doing. It was during the almost-year I lived in Amsterdam. I was sitting in the office that I shared with Fi, when another colleague stuck her head in the door and informed us that a plane had crashed into a skyscraper in New York. I don’t think ‘World Trade Centre’ meant all that much to me before 9/11, any more than I might have identified the Chrystler Building. Back then, my knowledge of New York  was probably limited to just a vague selection of the most famous landmarks. The colleague announcing it did so in horror (well, what else) not just because of the magnitude of such a disaster in itself, but also because the company we worked for had offices in those buildings too and she knew many of our colleagues in the NYC office.

Then, of course, the rest quickly unfolded, in all its evil brutality. I suspect many people the world over switched on the news, to live coverage of the smoking and burning tower, and like us watched in blood curdling horror and disbelief when a second plane hit the tower next to the first one. That was for me a moment when the world changed forever. There are some things history will never be able to bury amongst its catalogue of disasters.

And there are different kinds. You have tsunamis, and of course that worst one that cost us over 100,000 lives, hitting Thailand that Christmas. But then you have 9/11 and the Holocaust, that are so unfathomable and so beyond what we can imagine or understand – which is a little strange in itself, because those atrocities were thought up by us. They were man made evils that cost thousands of lives in one case, and millions in the other.

With my keen interest in psychology, I am fascinated by evil, and that’s what makes 9/11 (and indeed Nazi Germany) so interesting – not every person involved could possibly have been an empathy-void psychopath, that simply isn’t possible. Something else is at play, a kind of brain wash that can make a human being voluntarily go to his/her death? We have an in-built survival mechanism. Imagine how far gone you’d have to be, to be able to break through this. And if we’re not amongst the 4% of the population who are psychopaths (it’s something you ARE, not something you turn into, although Nurture also plays its part helping Nature along in some instances – Nature is the creator though, Nurture more of a guide perhaps), imagine a situation where your mind has been manipulated to the point where you don’t react to human beings being exterminated like you’d exfume a home infested by moths. Well, amongst the Nazis I’m sure many did still have that empathy but acted out of fear of retribution.

Even so, makes me wonder. It’s so hard to even work out where to start understanding what might happen in someone’s psyche.

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