Although true, it is too easy to just say that the shadow figures nudging up to the Peace Pole are myself and my partner.
Although true, it is too easy to just only talk about the love that spirals up between the two of us and abandon the rest of the world.
What I want to say, what I would rather say, is that the shadow figures represent people who, though once full of enmity for each other, had a conversion somehow, somewhere and were finally able to humble themselves before the face of love.
Such a trite word these days, “love”. Sometimes almost as banal—or as silly—as “peace”.
What I want to say, what I would rather say about love is that it is nothing if not powerful.
If our imagination is courageous enough, powerful enough, the two shadow figures holding hands are a Lebanese Muslim and an Israeli Jew.
Imagine it. Imagine it happening. Imagine it happening and we can change the world.
The US serviceman who bombed children with napalm during the Vietnam war eventually met with the grown Vietnamese woman who was the naked, fleeing, scorched child captured in a photo at the time.
Karen Eberhardt Shelton writes of this 2nd meeting.
He has closed her horrified mouth
With a kiss of apology,
His own suffering
A bridge between them.
He is a rare gift:
To heal with an embrace
So many years after burning off her flesh
In a hateful war;
Having forgiveness come back to him
Was the closure of a century.
That she survived to face him,
That he lived to grow into compassion;
One of those perfect miracles
You can’t explain, yet it is so beautiful,
It illuminates everyone.
Karaen Eberhardt Shelton
(from Resurgence magazine #219)