Here in Boston, we’re still reeling from the devastating blasts at the marathon yesterday. I have little, if anything at all, to add to the commentary, buzz and rehash.
But I would like to pass along two sentiments.
The first from Boston’s Christopher Lydon, which appeared in his Facebook feed yesterday afternoon: “Before we go back to sleep… couldn’t we call a permanent halt to predator drone attacks anywhere in the world? Can we connect our own frenzied responses today to what thousands of Afghans and Pakistanis (and others) have come to associate with pure evil that strikes them arbitrarily, unanswerably in the name of all of us Americans?”
The second from Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda, in his poem “Keeping Quiet”:
Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
For once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak in any language;
let’s stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.
Fisherman in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.
Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.
What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;…
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead in winter
and later proves to be alive.
Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.
Originally published on April 16, 2013