It could have been Sir Winston Churchill, or even Mark Twain, or one of the infamous judgments emanating from within the Algonquin Round Table. No war or neighborhood disturbance can ever equal the joy or sorrow of what nature may send forth. And in these moments of despair or rapture, when time or ultimate consequences are measurable, perhaps the poetic prose “Days of Distraction” becomes the greatest of all understatements.
The depths of human suffering being unmercifully inflicted on the people of Japan, equal or rival any nature-driven disaster in recorded human history. These trying times for the Japanese people are not merely occurrences to be poetically chronicled or measured by any man’s descriptivism. Ours may be a distraction, a series of ungodly bulletins presenting us with another painful documentary. But theirs is a reality being lived at the most personal level possible.
Maybe I’m one of those guilty of overreacting. Perhaps I shouldn’t let my inability to help them get in the way of my daily life. After all… I have auditions to conduct, scripts to study, March Madness in which to partake. The baseball season is about to begin. There are lists of obligations I must attend to. I really don’t have time for any “Days of Distraction.” But then again, why am I writing about it? Why can’t I remove the visuals from my mind? Why don’t I just go out and play a round of golf?
There must be a message somewhere in all of this. There has to be a reason for nature to do what it does, always at an inopportune time. Opportunism rarely has anything to do with human suffering. We never pray for it, hoping our time has come. There isn’t anything gracious about feeling pain. But the best part of our human condition is readily on display by the same people who are undergoing the worst victimization ever generated by nature. We all must make sure our children and their children are made privy to the courage and compassion for one another as human beings that the Japanese people have placed on the world stage. We all may learn from them. I find myself praying they will have the fortitude to withstand all that has been dealt them, and in as near to the future as possible the smiles of happiness will be made free to return.