Friday, May 31, 2013

BREAKING NEWS | Prayer for Syria

I know I'm not alone when I say I'm struggling to make sense out of the vastly differing realities we - people of one community, one world - are facing at the moment. How, for instance am I to reconcile the relentless atrocities in Syria - the scale and horror of which are beyond comprehension - with the simplicity and grace of the life I'm living in my relatively peaceful corner of the world? Domesticity, safety and privilege on the one hand: a life of devastating fear, brutality and loss on the other? And of course, elements of each reside in both. 

Breaking News is not easy viewing. It is, however, my attempt to build a bridge across the chasm, to acknowledge and in some small way stand alongside the suffering of so many the world over; those for whom shelter and safety are unknowns, waking and sleeping unsafe and whose lives are daily darkened by violence and sorrow. 

The text is a combination of poetry (At Any One Time is the title of the original poem, written in 1998 in response to the genocide in Kosovo) together with lines borrowed directly from a May 14th NYTimes article on the Syrian crisis. The headlines that day read 'Atrocity in Syria - No Victim Too Small.'  Appalled by the stark truth of what I had just read and seen, I felt bereft, angry and powerless. It was into that space that the prompt came to offer up a prayer and make something - hence, this film.  


I am grateful to Moscow-based composer Darin Sysoev for making his music available to me for this film in the spirit of collaboration. Please click on the links below to discover more of his hauntingly beautiful compositions  --- 


This morning, just moments before publishing this post, I tuned in to an online radio interview with astrologer/activist, Caroline Casey. It just so happened she was speaking into the Syrian reality, acknowledging the fierce resilience and gentle strength of Syrian women (thank you for sending me the link, Penelope). With gratitude, I heard these words - the lightning rod of grace. 

I need to be reminded (and to remind myself) that Grace is a power; that Gentleness is a strength; that these qualities are energies that can be invoked even from a distance, thereby rendering distance no distance. Beneath the fire is the water that will soothe, heal and restore to order. I choose, over and over again, to believe this. 



  1. Breaking News is easy viewing but listening to it is gut wrenching and fiendishly difficult. It is a tear inducing jeremiad of an artist who takes an interest in the fate of those whom politicians and money making philistines treat merely as collateral damage. Thank you Claire.


  2. Thank you for bring your gifts and compassion to bear on this terrible situation Claire. Your courage and language for this opens my/our hearts, windows, doors. Pam xo