Monday, July 31, 2006
I can't help thinking right now about the acts of violence being perpetrated on the innocent in Lebanon. Last night's news from Qana showed the innocent all right, slaughtered randomly in an Israeli attack. The picture here,at Guardian Unlimited is unbearable. Yet the people responsible don't really seem to feel much in the way of remorse - "we weren't aiming at civilians" doesn't really have the same resonance as building a church, useless though that would undoubtedly be in the circumstances.
I'm also struck by the courage of reporters like Fergal Keane. He's won all these awards for his work, and there he is, right in the middle of the suffering - helpless, like the rest of us. He does, however, show us what's happening. And he appears to suffer himself - how could he not?- beside the Lebanese victims.
I'm no politician, and no strategist either. But it seems to me that we need to erect some monument to the innocent suffering of the Lebanon. Not a church. I was thinking more of the West saying "Hold, enough" - and meaning it. And if Bush can't bring himself to do it, the rest of us should.
And here, because a holy man was killed,
a small church dreams on its unlikely hill.
The soft wind blows the distant wails of sheep
where moles disturb the old forgotten dead
and in these walls I sense the deep-packed prayer
which flowered above the hermit of the well
and add my own, ephemeral as the breeze,
and listen for an echo from my God.