Frames of Reference: Between Assignments

Credit. Conflict-Resolution. Jennifer Lommers, Artist

by Andrea Brandt


a brief note about frames of reference.

War is just one frame of reference. The spectator reads about it, and the participant experiences it. They are separate frames.

Rewriting democracies that are under fire and espousing false histories is popular.  Nationalists and fascists cloak their causes in patriotism, intimidation, and sadism. Disinformation, rumors of bloodshed and actual blooletting, and gossip among neighboring communities are spread and digested. Truth is difficult to swallow. It can burn the tongue as it slides down the throat. Taste buds can become insensitive. Words become bitter.

Holding on to someone, that within a breath is no longer there, is a frame of reference.

There’s a cracking series of gunfire. Hearing is lost for minutes. Another frame of reference. Life is filled with frames of reference. The world aches with conflict, if not physical, then emotional…a world on edge sells news and is also a training arena for the so-called “benevolent” dictator.

Money is made from suffering. Dying has a market share. Any object can be a weapon is misleading when you see a  person die with blood squirting out of their head from a bullet hole or when you witness an arm laying on pavement separated from its body meters away.

Automatic or semi-automatic, or bomb, tragedy sells. It’s a frame of reference. Such frames are found in all countries.

Meanwhile, the rich have their opulent lifestyles, homes, cruises, vacation destinations while showing off their physiques and figures – look at me. I’m a celebrity, perhaps if fortunate you can be one too, buy this product or whatever. You’ve been fucked, which reminds me.

And people cross borders, move from their country to another, and find they reopened wounds from a bloody past. And yet. there is a grace. Hurt and love are part of humanity’s common language.

A three-hour breather. I meet a colleague, we stand close, we hug, kiss each other on the cheek, wish each other a safe journey. And then we say goodbye. We are alert to our frames of reference each hour, each day.