Friday, July 27, 2007

Arrogant Prophecies -- Beauty and the Callous

One of the saddest things in the history of the Third Galaxy is the manner their sacred texts were often misunderstood -- sometimes even consciously twisted by hustlers -- and then used to justify ugly and even evil deeds.

For example, it was written in the Book of the Holy Idaho that people should "Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground" [Beginnings, 1:28]. When it was becoming obvious that the greedy and wasteful use of natural resources was destroying the environment of that poor world and scientists sounded the alarm that this would soon end in great catastrophes, there were leading Peelers who pointed to this and similar verses in the Book, saying: "The Great Potato gave us this world to rule over -- we are the Masters!" The debate was so heated that environmentalists were often sneeringly called "consies" and considered to be almost as bad as terraists!

The tragedy of course is that the word translated as "ruler" had a much different connotative meaning in the original texts -- a "sar" was somebody who was in charge of something and was supposed to administer and take care of it. As a matter of fact, this is exactly why the Holy Idaho told so many stories about vineyards and how people who were supposed to take care of them and didn't behave responsibly got their butts kicked when the owner came to see how they were doing.

But enough of the boring details -- I give you:

Beauty and the Callous

I'm walking across an open field;
the weeds and grass in flower suddenly reveal
so free a beauty as to make me kneel!

How else to speak when such a feeling is real?
But all the same hill's other side
was ravaged by bulldozers and by dynamite!

The deed was done, not at night,
but legally, in the broad daylight!

Walking down the city streets,
with no shoes, or socks, or sandals on my naked feet;
some broken glass cuts my feet,
they bleed, and those who see agree the fool is me!
But who's the fool and who is free
when Love herself is just another luxury?

Who can bear the sightless poverty
when there is no love between you and me?
The hilltop mentioned here is near Ljungby. We spent many wonderful summer vacations there in a little red "stag", or Swedish cottage. The little house was on the side of a hill, near the top. The clearing around the house was full of wild flowers clothed in raiment of such delicate color. Wild strawberries grew in the shade near the trees.

One summer afternoon, when we arrived, I walked over the hilltop, but the dense pine forest from the summers before had been ravaged into a moonscape. I knew of course that the pine forests in Sweden are actually an agricultural crop. They is every so often harvested by enormous machines which crawl the hillsides, chewing them up. So, it was all legal and part of the order of things, such as they are: and yet, I was stunned!

Another time I walked barefoot in the city and someone yelled that I was an idiot as I stopped to pick away a bit of glass which had stuck in my foot. I agree, the fool was me -- however, the question remains: is there any greater poverty than when there is no love between us to confirm our common humanity?

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