Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Fear of Islam and War on Iran

I’m sifting through the comments to my post “Is Fear of Islam Stalking the Land?” (January 20) and wondering about the nexus between this fear and what is looking like a likely war on Iran. As I ponder on this, I offer you the following poem by David Whyte, which came to mind as I read the comments as they came in.

It doesn’t interest me if there is one God
or many gods.
I want to know if you belong or feel
If you can know despair or can see it in others.
I want to know
if you are prepared to live in the world
with its harsh need
to change you. If you can look back
with firm eyes
saying this is where I stand. I want to know
if you know
how to melt into that fierce heat of living
falling toward
the center of your longing. I want to know
if you are willing
to live, day by day, with the consequences of love
and the bitter
unwanted passion of your sure defeat.

If the poem doesn’t appear to be related to fear of Islam, you might read
Addam the American by Raffi Khatchadourian in the January 22 issue of the New Yorker. And if none of this is making sense to you, don’t worry. I’m not sure it makes sense to me, either, but I’m working on it.

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