free stats Carmen's Web: The Guilt Factor
Friday, August 04, 2006
The Guilt Factor
Riding the heat wave in comfort for the past couple of days has been one of the most guilty experiences of my life. As I've mentioned, I've had the week off, which means I don't need to move around too much. Although I'm conserving (haven't turned my AC on except when I sleep, and then for only two hours) I've been lounging in my basement which is pretty cool (temperature wise), especially with a fan on. I've had ice cold bottles of water by my side, movies galore, and thankfully have been living in a neighborhood that Con Edison has deemed worthy enough not to be interrupted by blackouts (or brownouts. Have you ever heard of brownouts???? I hadn't until this recent heat wave).

God forbid we get a blackout and it becomes unbearably uncomfortable. You know what we can do? We can get our asses in our car and drive around till we find a hotel with an AC. Two nights ago, when a neighborhood in Harlem lost electricity, the city hired a bus as a cooling center for the neighborhood and that's where the kids and the old folks slept that evening.

My guilt stems from the fact that as I'm living in comfort here and complaining about the burdensome heat wave, an entire country is being massacred. People are losing their homes, their families, their way of life. And I'm here watching movies, helping my friend pick up bongos (Toots bought bongos yesterday...they're AWESOME! With my guiras we can start a band in no time!), and ordering food to be delivered to my doorstep cuz I'm too lazy to cook anything.

It's normal, no? Normal to complain about your circumstances, find displeasure in certain things in your life, but it all just seems to superficial right now. Perusing the different blogs, I've found that I'm not the only one who feels guilt at this time. People are feeling guilty for enjoying the most trivial things in their life. They're feeling bad for writing about anything that doesn't have to do with the destruction of Lebanon. It's as if we don't have the right to continue living the way we did. We're not allowed, anymore, to write about the mundane details of our lives.

I admit, I feel stupid for writing about the heat wave. And guilty for not being able to do something significantly for the people of Lebanon other than the handful of donations I've sent and the weekly candlelight vigils our local Lebanese community holds.

One is not indifferent to the hell the Lebanese are experiencing just because one writes about an oppressive heat wave, or any other "trivial" matter. Easy to say, but I just wish I could stop feeling guilty for enjoying the little bits and pieces of life.
Thoughts shared by Carmen at 8:52 AM
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Who: Carmen

xx-something egyptia-yorker who's spent over half her life stuck in two worlds not of her own making. unable and unwilling to fully embrace one identity over the other, she created (is trying to create) her own place in the world where people love each other unconditionally, irrespective of artificial boundaries, and where dancing merengue is as necessary to life as breathing air.

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