Sunday, March 30, 2014

Every clod that the sea washes away makes Europe the less

Some days the world is tragic in ways that don't leave you with much left to say.

Via Athenios comes this story from Greece:
An investigation was launched on Friday into the circumstances surrounding the death of Ilie Kareli, the 42-year-old Albanian inmate who killed a prison guard on Tuesday, after he was found dead in a prison cell and a coroner’s report indicated that he had suffered serious injuries after being beaten with a blunt instrument.
So far, so ordinary. We see so much misery in the news that it's easy to get desensitised to it. A kills B, B's friends retaliate and kill A. It's a story as old as man. Unfortunate, but the guy had it coming, says the voice that reads this kind of thing every single day.

And yet, every now and then some small humanising detail will creep in and pierce the studied cynicism that all experienced newspaper readers have. It will remind you that everyone in this story is somebody's son, somebody's brother, and that the tragedy is neither an abstraction nor a morality play.

In my case, it was the following:
The medical examiners said he had been beaten up to three days before his death.
Guards at Nigrita prison said they had noticed Kareli’s bruises when he arrived at the facility. They said he declined to be seen by a doctor and instead asked for “some rope to hang myself.”
I have found those lines going around and around in my head ever since.

It is hard to bear too much of the world.

One must take consolation where one finds it. For me, I find myself returning to the words of the Great Sage:
Just as today, so also through this round of existence thou hast wept over the loss of so many countless husbands, countless sons, countless parents and countless brothers, that the tears thou has shed are more abundant than the waters of the four oceans.
Just so.

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