Contemplations on Amsterdam and the ISA

Reflecting on the meetings I stare out the window of the restaurant and watch and recall:

The Anne Frank House with its images of a single family destroyed for the crime of being Jewish,
Nazis gathering Jews in the streets
Raping women
Killing children and old men,
Shopkeepers, bankers, doctors, lawyers, street cleaners, teachers;
None was immune.
I stare from the window watching the dog-walkers, bike riders, bustling streets brimming with energy, life, and carelessness.
The same streets just a moment ago were heavy with German tanks and soldiers herding Jews to their death;
For being Jewish.
Dog walkers and bike riders ride carelessly now, oblivious to the history of their streets;
Unaware that they ride and walk over the dried blood of fallen innocents.
The Amsterdam tulips have just finished their showing.
The city drips with life.
And but a few hours from this place are men and women and children being slaughtered today in fashion similar to what took place a short dream ago.
Over and over it goes.
How to stop this merry-go-round is unfathomable.
People who love their children cry when they hurt; they bleed when they are injured; pray to some god for whatever they pray; hope for their better day. Yet they still tear apart the lives of others. Still break the boundaries of peace and liberty, and freedom of thought and belief.
I ride the elevator to John Legend’s song from Selma, “One day, when the glory comes; it will be ours, it will be ours.”
The meetings were wonderful but they are a distraction, a diversion from the ineluctable.
Still, without them we would have only despair as our companion.
How do we disentangle this man-made, endless, seemingly insoluble dilemma?

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