A day of trivialities, 'twas.
Spring, though nominally here, has yet to assert itself appropriately with the warmth usually associated with it. Spring is one of the few times you can actually appreciate living in Nebraska, because as the world comes alive again, the weather turns nice again, and suddenly, after a few miserable months of winter, you can go out and enjoy yourself.
It snowed, again, last week. It hit Omaha pretty heavily this time, dumping maybe seven or eight inches, most of which melted in a few days, but still, the buds were on the trees, the tulips were sprouting, it was too late for such a tantrum. But today, it was nice, kind of warm actually, and to celebrate not only the season "Spring" but the beginning of the biking season, I took out my mountain bike and went exploring.
All went well, for the most part. I don't have my biking legs back yet, but making sure I go as far as I can whenever it's nice has been helpful. All went well, but for a spill toward the end.
I had veered around a parked car while riding the sidewalk along a busier street, and, while righting myself, I shifted my weight and picked up the front wheel with a little flick. Unfortunately, I had forgotten Newton's Third Law, and the reaction sent my front wheel over the edge of the sidewalk into a shallow ditch carved by rain. So now, my front wheel was obstructed, my body was twisting, and suddenly, my arms were straight ahead in front of me, ready to hit gritty concrete Truth.
My bike is fine, I think, though my hands are suffering still, my thumbs almost useless. It's been interesting, living without opposable thumbs.
Meanwhile, in Israel:
I am reading with a deepening sense of dread the goings-on across the world. After the awful Passover bombing, it seems that the United States is standing largely behind Israel. It's a slight shift, really, a righting of one's self, from the position the administration seemed to have been taking recently, which was to chastise both sides of the conflict while sending in Gen. Anthony Zinni for peace talks. That position struck me as strangely, well, European. I remember thinking that there was something behind Bush sending Zinni in there, without being asked formally first, without waiting for peace talks to be even reasonably within reach. Now, I think I understand better.
I wonder if it isn't part of a plan to isolate Palestine from the rest of the Arab world. Make it look like you're actively working for peace, and when some crazy Palestinian blows herself up at a religious feast, you can throw your hands up in frustration and say, "We tried!" Make Palestine look like a bad guy, not only to the West, but to the Arab nations, who want peace just as much as everyone else. That way, when/if the U.S. attacks Iraq, we'll have a gold star on our side, making our position in Israel seem more like a position against terrorism, as opposed to a position against Islam, so when we go throwing our weight around the area, we won't as quickly find suitcase-sized nuclear weapons on our doorstep.
Because, that's the thing that really frightens me. I don't know if Arafat has any real control over his people, "his" bombers any more. It seems less like he does, though the U.S. is doing a mighty job trying to convince me otherwise. It's not like we're fighting a state, or even a philosophy. Terrorists don't need state support or philosophical unity. They can go just about anywhere, do anything, whenever they please. And as long as the U.S. is committed to fighting such an invisible enemy, we're going to see ourselves drawn in, further and further, destroying liberties within our borders and without, throwing bombs everywhere, while they throw bombs at us, the whole world consumed in terror and death, the whole world shuddering as it enters a new day.
It frightens me that the only way humans seem to learn not to kill each other is to do it until they can't do it any more. The only way to peace seems to be to blow up everything, so that the people who are left will look at the devastation and say, "never again." Until then, we seem only too comfortable with killing the other, playing this oneupmanship game, where we try to kill them before they can kill us, not realizing that we're letting Death to our doorstep, through the front door, to sit at our kitchen table.
Maybe I'll just go ride my bike. And hope that the next time, I won't fall.