Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Immortal Soul

It was raining as I ran along the silent road. When I came to the crossing place I saw them. My mind spun, my body convulsed. Those piles of bloated flesh, reeking with stench, used to be my mother, my father, my brother. All the refugees had been lined up on the embankment and shot. The immortal soul.

You will never understand. You may turn away, or you may ask questions. You may be silent, or you may cry out. But you will never understand. We, the survivors, are now forever separate from you.

Whoever says the words “noble cause,” “brave men and women,” “honor,” “glory,” “victory,” or “not in vain,” you are lying to me. You who are standing in church with your hand on your heart, praising the lord of war, you are a gravedigger. Empty stone sanctuary, religion of the vultures and crows, you have nothing. Your holy whispers are useless and end in agony.

Because we survived this time, we think it’s all a story. My mother, father, brother, they say nothing. The survivors tell stories. We fools, we ragged jesters. We too are bloated, stench-filled piles. The immortal soul.

In the name of what, I ask, are living beings turned into things, just trash to be cleared away? Am I to believe that a child, nursed and loved by a mother, raised and taught and treasured for so many days of care, years of priceless cherishing; a living, breathing soul with a universe of feelings, thoughts, dreams, and dances contained in the heart and pulse and in the brilliant eyes; is all for nothing but to be pierced or crushed or suddenly blown to pieces by some stupid bomb? Do you really believe? What is the measure of our indifference? And for what—a piece of earth, a box made of gold? I reject your sacrifice.

I will not cheer your uniforms. I will not salute or wave your flag. Your monuments I will avoid. I turn my back on the parade. I walk away, without looking back, even when you call me. You must cross the gulf of silence between us on your own. I have no more stories to tell you, hopeless immortal souls.

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