You might have noticed that there was no toli in January. Part of the reason was that I spent a month in Ghana over the holiday period. Far from computers, it was a month of rest, good food, and quality time with family and friends alike.
As I returned, refreshed and all, I was all set to write about the 13 novels I'd read, describe a week of the worst harmattan (the dry season of winds and dust clouds blowing down from the Sahara) I'd experienced since childhood, contrasting that with the bitter cold and snow storms that Boston has supplied, give my impressions of Ghana, describe the chaos of a presidential inauguration done with Ghanaian (in)efficiency. My head was full of ideas, I was going to comment on the various memes that have been floating around this internet thing of ours and talk about the series of articles on technology that I've been pondering. I was going to write about all that and more.
But then two weeks ago, I had a terrible, terrible phone call to Ghana that included the following:
"What?... Murdered... Armed robbers... Yes, murdered... at his house... 4 of them... his 19 year old niece, the watchman and the house girl..."
The rest was a blur of shock, anger, bewilderment, denial, wrath, sorrow, frustration, impotence, sadness, hand-wringing, and finally, numbness that has stumped me since.
A few days later I would read headlines in the online papers about what had happened. But nothing really can explain a wife returning home to such a scene, or the phone calls that some children, 3,000 miles away, were to receive. Nothing can explain the four lives lost and others thrown into upheaval and the sheer arbitrary waste of it all. In short, it has been a tsunami on a personal scale.
In any case, I hope you'll understand why there's been quiet in these parts...