Tuesday, March 31, 2009
The End of the War
It's true. Even the wars that devastate our land and leave our most glorious cities as nothing more than heaps of ash-stained concrete have an end.
The wars that pock the fields with black craters can't go on forever, nor can the ones that fill those craters with mutilated bodies.
Every war has an end.
Even the war that turned me into a sobbing child, that exacted a toll so hard it knocked me to within the gray grip of death, even that war had to end.
I burned. I wept. I screamed. In my worst moments, I even begged.
I watched as the palaces were looted, saw as the fine institutions of learning were razed to the ground, the pages of their ancient books flickering in the wind like so many fireflies, a thousand years of wisdom and understanding put to the torch.
Every single temple in that land, every last one, was destroyed. They shrieked and no god answered, and then they died in their wretched millions.
I cried tears for them, until the shock robbed me of even that solace. Bombs fell from the sky, one atrocity after another.
Everything was gone.
But all wars have an end.
Now they fly scarlet-gold banners and resurrect desecrated buildings on legs of marble. They rewrite the books, they swarm upon the hills, they make themselves into a monument of justice and peace.
This is the most beautiful place in the world, all the more splendid because of the ruin from which it has risen.
The war is over.
And as my personal holocaust fades into history, flowers bloom.