there is no answer / but loving one another

Jana sent me this poem by Wendell Berry this week. Many of you are familiar with it, but it remains powerful after many readings.

To my granddaughters who visited the Holocaust Museum on the day of the burial of Yitzak Rabin, November 6th 1995.

Now you know the worst
we humans have to know
about ourselves, and I am sorry,

for I know you will be afraid.
To those of our bodies given
without pity to be burned, I know

there is no answer
but loving one another
even our enemies, and this is hard.

But remember:
when a man of war becomes a man of peace,
he gives a light, divine

though it is also human.
When a man of peace is killed
by a man of war, he gives a light.

You do not have to walk in darkness.
If you have the courage for love,
you may walk in light. It will be

the light of those who have suffered
for peace. It will be
your light.

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6 thoughts on “there is no answer / but loving one another”

  1. God help us be people of peace....peace makers, peace lift. Up St. Francis and Mother Theressa, and JESUS....and gifted poets who open our eyes to the costly beauty of this strange non-violent way.

  2. I agree that love is the way. I don't think love is one sided though. Love is paradoxical in many ways and cannot be grasped with the dualistic mind. The heart awakens us to an inner reality in which all distinctions come together and all opposites are combined. Within the heart the greatest joy and the greatest sorrow come together as the mind becomes lost trying to grasp love's paradoxes.

  3. I will never forget my visit to Oswiecim (renamed Auschwitz by German occupiers).  The most enduring and powerful memory I have, strange to say, is of the ubiquitous smell - of faded disinfectant masking something far worse.  I have come to associate it with human evil.

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