Thursday, June 08, 2006
No matter how much my head has been urging my heart to silence all day long, some words, at least, must out.
The final straw was other words, words which pushed me to a level of rage that surprised me by taking me by such surprise.
“Hoy es un buen dia para morir...”
A lovely day for a 20 year old student to die, someone wrote somewhere. I know nothing about Alexis, the 20 year old boy who I am told “had to pay the price” today. I only know that he was a boy, he was a student, and he was 20.
But I did foresee, and would have given much not to see, those who would lay claim to him.
I know nothing of Alexis other than he was 20 and could have seen little of life.
But I do know – and have known – hundreds of other 20 year old boys, full of dreams and themselves and the promise of life. How quickly, and easily, their hearts and minds are captured. How moved the good ones are by words and passion and, most especially, by impassioned words.
Everything I need to say has already been said here. About words and their consequences and the moral imperative to take responsibility for both. About alternate universes where babies would lead themselves into unknown battle, Chiquita somehow sequestered, offering themselves up quite unwittingly to and for worlds and words they will never know.
And then the timeless horror of allowing such horror to be painted with adolescent dreams of romantic martyrdom. To hell with honour and wisdom and vision and virtue of any sort.
Better, I am sure, I am told, I see, the easy lies of Houseman to his Athlete Dying Young than, say, Auden’s, once upon an even more horrible time:
Defenceless under the night
Our world in stupor lies;
Yet, dotted everywhere,
Ironic points of light
Flash out wherever the Just
Exchange their messages:
May I, composed like them
Of Eros and of dust,
Beleaguered by the same
Negation and despair,
Show an affirming flame.