I am sorry for my exclusive feeling that the recent rampages have turned the surroundings of us into a war zone. Many precious lives hurt. It makes me think of "The End and the Beginning" of Wisława Szymborska. Its translation from the Polish by Joanna Trzeciak reads:
After every war someone has to clean up.
Things won't straighten themselves up, after all.
Someone has to push the rubble to the sides of the road,
so the corpse-laden wagons can pass.
Someone has to get mired in scum and ashes,
sofa springs, splintered glass, and bloody rags.
Someone must drag in a girder to prop up a wall.
Someone must glaze a window, rehang a door.
Photogenic it's not, and takes years.
All the cameras have left for another war.
Again we'll need bridges and new railway stations.
Sleeves will go ragged from rolling them up.
Someone, broom in hand, still recalls how it was.
Someone listens and nods with unsevered head.
Yet others milling about already find it dull.
From behind the bush sometimes someone still unearths
rust-eaten arguments and carries them to the garbage pile.
Those who knew what was going on here must give way to those who know little.
And less than little. And finally as little as nothing.
In the grass which has overgrown causes and effects,
someone must be stretched out, blade of grass in his mouth, gazing at the clouds.
People always focus on either victory or defeat in the war, as the glory of the chief of state and the troop's retreat have commonly been in the limelight. The aftermath, especially the reconstruction, are seldom recollected.
Whether the finale of the present movement is an all-win situation or a zero-sum game, the destruction that "war" entails should be rebuilt. I never regard sorting through the debris as a thankless job. And more importantly, we are obligated to breathe new life into our adolescents. They deserve profuse love after the ordeal.
I·CARE Centre for Whole-person Development