Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Done With War

When the throbbing of war is abroad I try to hold my thumb on the drum head of my soul, to mute the resonance. Of course I am a sounding board: shivers of hatred and horror come from my soul, and I blame everyone I already blamed, only more so. It goes on, and on, war leaping from soul to soul like a wildfire leaping from tree to tree. Nobody is free. The fire is implacable. War is inevitable. It is larger, stronger, older than we are: it has its own purposes.

We will never be free of it, never, not in ten thousand years. But this, at least: I will never again, in deliberate word, thought, or deed, give my consent to it. Swept along I will be, I and my children and their children's children. We will be hounded across ruined landscapes by war after war after war. But I will never say: this is my war. This is my fight. These are the people who matter, and these are the people who do not; these are the people who deserve mercy, and these are the people who deserve cruelty. I know that war is not done with me, but I am done with war.

5 comments:

Phil Plasma said...

I do not have so intimate a relationship with war; I keep away from it, and it keeps away from me.

Zhoen said...

I will have to run and help the wounded, on either side.

elisasspot said...

hmm...i suppose this was not supposed to elicit laughter of joy, but it did

I thought of internal war, with self, internal war fought, using our words, to share with ourselves and another human being, that help to change the emotion attached to the street, alter the images seen in passing or those forced, so that one might see that one has more choices. I wonder, that standing one's ground must be anything more, get out of hand...

Rouchswalwe said...

Several weeks ago, an uncle found a book of remembrance for a distant cousin of mine. The young man was killed in action on the Russian Front in February of 1942, a month after being deployed. How strange to learn of his death in the field hospital 71 years later. How war echoes through the decades.

Dale said...

Ai. Yes, and how resolutely we insist, every time, that each war is a new and singular unprecedented event, instead of the same old grievous, grievous song.