Worst of Times, Best of Times

Ours is a world in agony. The holy is awash in profanation. Men hear the voice of a ravening god that sends them to cut off heads. Others kidnap children in the name of a god. Again the toxic cohabitation of religion with violence, the foul marriage that brought us the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition and Bushido on the Burma Railroad.

In the centre of our own country the Hayes clan lives at Whitegate, a ‘town camp’ in Alice Springs. The site is ancestral land going back to a time before the counting. Last week local government cut the water supply to Whitegate. The power died there some time ago. The cold desert nights are bitter.

How to breathe? Where to find hope? Why believe in our species at all? What light can we show our small children?

Last week the International Council of Christians and Jews honoured Debbie Weissman, a veteran worker across the tribes and creeds, building frail bridges of peace. Peace has broken out in Gaza-Israel. Rod Moss, artist and writer, chops wood and hauls water to Whitegate.

The peacemakers, the hewers of wood and drawers of water: these small signs. I clutch at such as these.

2 thoughts on “Worst of Times, Best of Times

  1. I’d like to know what was the reason for the water to be “cut off”? then I’d like to sit down with council and ask IF their reason could have anything to do with our western dis-respect for OUR manner of using this most precious necessity WATER.? oh! AND our dis-respect for the ancient culture from whom WE obtained their lands? THEY didn’t misuse water, nor anything else vital to life!


  2. The individuals I know are mostly warm, peace-loving and generous. I know this is not too difficult when all our basic needs are met and we have little reason to fear others, but I sincerely believe that the majority of humans are fundamentally decent. I agree it is sometimes very hard to remember this, or go on believing it, in the face of the loud, powerful and cruel who hog the limelight and wreck others lives. I hope (I would pray, but I’m an atheist) I’m right.


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