Silence

Sometimes, I think about sharing silences, I often find it difficult to stop myself talking and so a silence shared with someone who will let/make me quiet is something I treasure hugely.
I also find myself enjoying silences when I finally have nothing more to say and just walk with whoever, or alone, and I like the quiet.

Having the Max Payne soundtrack still playing for part of the silence today was annoying but I did turn it off.

I don’t know, I find I really do treasure silences, especially when they’re shared. I used to observe remembrance day in Japan too. Doing it here with friends was strange. I looked and I wondered what the lads’d look like with their long hair cut short and wearing fatigues, I wondered what I’d have done, I’d never have signed up would I have had the guts to nurse?

As always on Remembrance Day I honour the dead who died so that we might be free, I remember them, I light a candle and think, but I also think about those who survived. I come from a family of pacifists and conchies and also of those who stuck to their own guns and I’m proud of that. I saw a man of a hundred and eleven the other day say that he hoped there would be no more war. I thought about how my Grandma described London during the war, about how bitterly I’ve heard descriptions of Gallipoli (yes I know that was the first war) and the trenches. As long as I live I’ll try my best to oppose war in all it’s forms.

There is no glory in dying for one’s country, but there is honour in living for it, so that’s what I’m doing. It’s the only way to really honour the dead who died for you, to make sure that I don’t have to do what they did and no one else does either.

Dulce Et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!– An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.–
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,–
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

3 thoughts on “Silence

  1. There is no glory in dying for one’s country, but there is honour in living for it, so that’s what I’m doing. It’s the only way to really honour the dead who died for you, to make sure that I don’t have to do what they did and no one else does either.

    That’s a noble sentiment, there.

    (Just realised, we picked the same poem for the day.)

  2. Reminds me of a quote from the West Wing, the episode they made after 9/11.

    A martyr will die for his country. But a hero would much rather live for it. What would you rather be – a martyr or a hero?

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