No, that's actually not a reference to ED. Wonder of wonders, I do possess the ability to talk about something else.
It refers to the way I felt after reading this article on the BBC website. If you can think of a more forgotten and neglected group of people than mentally ill prisoners in Nigeria, please let me know. Thing is, there are plenty - too many - people who are as forgotten, as abused and hurt. See Sri Lanka, Darfur, the Congo. See trafficked children, see favelas. And so on.
I know it's solipsistic navel-gazing to bemoan the state of the world, but life is a crapshoot. So much comes down to where you're born. And for some people life is just grinding, unmitigated suffering. And yeah, I know I say that from my comfortable Western point of view. Still.
Bah. Sadness. It makes me think of Theodore Roethke's poem "The Meadow Mouse," and I know it's "emo" to post poems in your blog, but here it is:
In a shoe box stuffed in an old nylon stocking
Sleeps the baby mouse I found in the meadow,
Where he trembled and shook beneath a stick
Till I caught him up by the tail and brought him in,
Cradled in my hand,
A little quaker, the whole body of him trembling,
His absurd whiskers sticking out like a cartoon-mouse,
His feet like small leaves,
Whitish and spread wide when he tried to struggle away,
Wriggling like a minuscule puppy.
Now he's eaten his three kinds of cheese and drunk from his
So much he just lies in one corner,
His tail curled under him, his belly big
As his head; his bat-like ears
Twitching, tilting toward the least sound.
Do I imagine he no longer trembles
When I come close to him?
He seems no longer to tremble.
But this morning the shoe-box house on the back porch is empty.
Where has he gone, my meadow mouse,
My thumb of a child that nuzzled in my palm? --
To run under the hawk's wing,
Under the eye of the great owl watching from the elm-tree,
To live by courtesy of the shrike, the snake, the tom-cat.
I think of the nestling fallen into the deep grass,
The turtle gasping in the dusty rubble of the highway,
The paralytic stunned in the tub, and the water rising,--
All things innocent, hapless, forsaken.