Monday, July 11, 2005

Lightning strikes

I love thunders and lightnings.

Maybe because I got so few growing up. On the rare occasion that we get some here, I stay up. Go out into the rain. Or just sit in the window. And watch in awe.

But the thing about these magnificent and beautiful spectacles is that they are actually very dangerous. Practically lethal, actually. They are nowhere as unreal as they appear. If you were to be struck by lightning, it would be devastating. But it can also be crushing to see it happen up close. I mean, seeing lightning strike in the night, somewhere over in the next valley, is only intriguing, And for like five seconds. But to see it strike someone down right in front of you. That would be terrifying. But you don't see that happen. So you think it doesn't.

Domestic violence is something that for many of us is only encountered in fiction; in books or movies. But it is striking all around us. Everyday. Without us even knowing it, most of the time. The victim feels ashamed. The attacker... I don't know what. I can't understand them. And I don't want to.

A dear friend of ours called my wife today. As soon as she heard my wife's voice, she started crying. She loves him. They have been so happy together. They had fought before, mainly over how to raise the kids. But this time, he tried to strangle her. She has deep purple marks on her neck.

She had gone to work this morning, as if nothing had happened. She didn't want to "over-react". But as she was sitting at her work, trying to feed a little piglet (long story), she suddenly started thinking "what if my daughter came to me and told her that her boyfriend had tried to choke her, but they were trying to work it out?"

That's when she called my wife.

We've done all that can be done for now. Before going to bed, my wife gave me a big hug and said "thanks for being normal".

Yeah, right. The standards for being an outstanding male seem to be coming down rapidly. Being kind to your wife, or even just not beating her, will get you an honour badge.

Oh, what a miserably low form of life mankind really and truly is.