That is Yeats, more or less. He was writing about one hovering death; today’s poverty of response is to the deaths in Orlando, and the ones that seem to spread out from them in time and space. Butcheries in classrooms and movie theaters, thanks to the ease with which some fucknut with a grudge can get an automatic weapon. Drone strikes that take out wedding parties or grandmothers in gardens (where is the international mourning for these people who were also just trying to live their lives?), suicide bombs that shatter open-air markets in Baghdad or Beirut. You would think there was enough mortality in the world without the specialized effect of human insanity and fanaticism.
When I was a pretty small sprout there was a pop radio song called “Beans In My Ears.” I thought it was hilarious and wonderful and I was given a 45 rpm record, on whose flip side was a country tear-jerker called “The Prism Song.” I have no bleeping idea who thought this was a good combination. The little girl has a prism, she lives with domestic violence, mom kills dad, but she can always look into the prism and see the beautiful colors.
Maybe the songwriters were onto something with that schlock, because at the moment there is absolutely nothing left to think or say, but one of my clients went on a trip and for some reason decided to bring me back a little kaleidoscope, the kind that uses a convex perspective glass to turn anything you look at into tiled hexagonal patterns.
So I looked at my living room.
There may be something to this. They say that the fractals in nature do something beneficent to your state of mind. Perhaps it’s not such a poor response after all.
There is a lot about the world that can be fixed, if enough people have the will, but not standing on one foot, and for the times in between I guess we need prisms. Or kaleidoscopes.