What can I say?
In order to truly ‘get away’ and re-charge, we were isolated from the news, the internet, and everything else that was not within a boat-ride of where we were. So, it is taking me a while to catch up on what happened…
Somehow, my brain does not want to get back into the ‘old tracks’!
In surroundings like these, it is easy to ‘get philosophical’ – and we did (as we do every year).
Last year, we got into the whole ‘if a tree falls in the forest…’ thing – and decided that the answer will vary, depending on what is meant by the words ‘hear it’ and ‘sound’. Though these are ‘simple’ English words, they can be interpreted in so many different ways that they alter the nature of the question: the very essence of what is being asked about! (As in, measurability vs. perception/relevance of reality…)
This year, we discussed much different things – no less philosophical, but certainly more ‘practical’. At the core was the concept of the diaspora (not the ‘capital ‘D’ diaspora’, which refers to the dispersion of Jews once they were exiled from Israel by the Romans, but the ‘little ‘d’ diaspora’, which refers to any group of people who immigrate not as individuals, but as a society which does not integrate, but rather enforces its own separate cultural and/or religious norms) and its effects on host societies and vice versa….and the reasons for these effects.
I’m sure I’ll be writing this all up, just as soon as I can formulate it from ‘discussions’ and ‘debates’ into a more tidied-up prose.
Still, it is difficult to discuss – and write about – the diaspora in a way that does not send people screaming and calling the thought police and shutting their minds to the very human qualities which are at the core of all the prejudice against the people who immigrate into a land and snub that land’s culture… not because of the end-concepts, but because in order to discuss this subject, one has to address many topics which are taboo to even mention, much less dissect and debate, in our politically correct society. And, one has to use language that ‘points stuff out’, instead of ‘normalizing’ things and hiding their true meaning.
Yet, I am convinced that unless we understand what is happening inside us, unless we discuss it openly and without reservations, we cannot begin to fix some of the systemic prejudices inherent in our society! And, reducing (even a tiny bit) some of these ‘barriers’ is a good thing for our society in the long term, even if right now, discussing it openly may feel like pulling a band-aid off…
After all, unless we recognize our prejudices and understand their roots, we cannot hope to overcome them! It’s just too bad that in our society today, even raising the subject is taboo… yet I intend to not just raise it, but to examine it and the very things which produce visceral reactions in us, human animals. Politely, of course…. ;0)
At the same time, there is so much which is happening now that I ‘ought to’ be writing about and screaming about…. that I feel pulled in so many directions, I keep hopping from one draft of a post to another, not finishing any!
Yet, I am making progress and I hope to be posting some thought provoking ideas soon. In the meantime, please, enjoy these pictures! And, if you’d like to see more, please let me know: I took a few thousand shots over those days, and some of them have managed to capture the ‘mood’ of the North!