october 7th night before thanksgiving
and so we see and have seen and will see again the bravery and indignation and incredible will of the burmese people . . . and also their blood. i've been in calgary this entire time, caring for my mother who is in hospital with cancer and an operation that went terribly wrong, and caring as well for my little son, sandwiched, as joy kogawa put it, between generations of great need, as a country i love was torn asunder once again by bullets and arrests and imprisonments.
it's been very hard not to be able to be present, protesting in person, or even writing much in the face of it all, (and the many interviews i had to turn down) too busy with the tasks of caring for the lives immediately around me and needing me . . .
oh dear burma, dear burma. i think of all those years writing the lizard cage, talking to men and women who had spent years in prison, or lost people in prison, or waited for loved ones in prison. the torture, in its present moment and in its fall-out, years later. all the years of so many good lives, the lives of people who want what is right and good for themselves and their children, generations of young people deprived of so many things, and old people denied a certain kind of peace in the face of death.
and some say china, only china can do anything, and some say the u.s. is evading its international responsibility, and chris hitchens responds with a dumb editorial about how useless buddhism in the face of dictatorship (going on to prove he knows much about the external works of china and nothing about the human lives in burma . . .)
and i am inclined to say i do not really know what will be the mechanism, finally, that will push the generals from their precarious shitandblood stained perch of power. surely the murder of the monks--monks!--in front of the whole world is a measure of their desperation.
i know that many of them, these nights, are sleepless and haunted. for from guilt and remorse, but out of fear for their own karma . ..
re. action: yes, of course, to sign the petitions, and go out into our own peaceful streets to add our indignation and outrage to that of the burmese people, and yes, to boycott the olympics.
and pray, for what it's worth, to whoever,
or whatever, to the spirit of the tree in the middle of the prison grounds
to the silence of the unbloodied street at five in the morning, a crescent moon and two morning stars there, lighting the sharp air of new fall
(so there, mr. hitchens, you faithless twit!)
i was going to write something else, but i am so tired and the baby wakes up at five thirty and there are so many tasks to accomplish tomorrow even before going to the hospital and i miss my husband. so i have to go to bed.
someone now, in rangoon, is translating The Lizard Cage. that is, if he hasn't been arrested. i hope he has not been arrested. one doesn't know now . . .
god/dess. how thankful i am for my life of peace, my rich and blessed life.
one says, thank you thank you.
i suppose that is another reason to wish for a god
Praise whatever you can ---stephen dunn