Friday, July 28, 2006

Fireworks and bombs

Just returned from the firework festival at Scheveningen.

To be honest the firework display was a little disappointing. A lot of the ‘high shooters’ were hidden behind dense fog and clouds that they were little more than flashes of light in a thunder storm. I guess that left something to the imagination.

Still, it was beautiful, all those sparks and explosions in the air, mirrored on the surface of the sea to give it that double effect... And it was that mirror effect that triggered a thought in my mind. Reflection, if you like.

The longer I watched and the more I heard the loud and shocking bangs that trembled and echoed everything in the surroundings, the more I was reminded of the events in the Middle East (or elsewhere for that matter). That ear-piercing shrill of shooting fireworks, the dense smoke escaping from the ends of each and every explosive as it soared into the heavens before disintegrating into a million little sparks, the heart shuddering detonations.

What difference is a firework display from exchange of fire between warring parties?
I cannot know because I’ve never been through war.
But many in the world have.
I could only imagine.

When I just closed my eyes while I sat on the beach, those explosions could have been Scuds, Katushyas, Patriots, Exocites, Tomahawks raining down on us. We didn't flee to air raid shelters, we didn't fear and feel buildings tumble and crumble around us. Instead we were drawn to the lights, the spectacles, the illusions and dazzles that played out before us in the skies. We watched in awe and silence as the miraculous display of lights and sounds took our breath away. We even raising our hands to clap when the show ended, silently hoping it never would end.

Elsewhere people dare not watch. People tremble, people pray, in a last ditch attempt for mercy and for dear life. People howl and weep as mindless killers take their beloved ones away. People raise their hands to the heavens and to the 'other' in a sign surrender, hoping the show-down would soon be over.

Where I was, people lost themselves temporarily in a daze and indulged in sensory pleasures in the company of family and friends.

Elsewhere, people are lost in a permenant nightmare, traumatised by the physical and emotional pains, not knowing how much longer they may have the fortune to enjoy the company of family and friends.

The irony...the contrast.

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