Wednesday, November 5, 2008

John Donne; Meditation XVII: NO MAN IS AN ISLAND

collage by marguerita

The world has been suffering from a darkness , unleashed upon us, by Hitler & Company,beyond Dante's Inferno's vision ..A malaise with no translation tore apart civilization and the respect of one human to another.
An educated and high cultured nation was able to invade ,loot and murder with no restraint .

.I live with some of the stories which I was able to extricate from my parents memories. My mother, a prisoner in Auschwitz, witnessed Josef Mengele tear the child of the arms of its mother, a recent arrival,throw the child against the wall, and then shoot the mother.

When one tried to escape, the guards ran after and caught the miserable soul and had an orchestra playing " J'Attendrai and other fashionable hits. How the III Reich commander of Transportation moved in to my mother's home and building in Krakow, forcing her out and pushing down four floors to the ground and Death, her 70 year old mother in law, then sending my mother to Plaszow, Auschwitz and Ravensbrueck.

My mother had a tattoo on her left arm: A-26.427.

A generous gift by Deutschland Uber Alles.

The world was an accomplice.An enabler of cruelty beyond words.
And today,since 1939, we all should gather and work for Peace and Harmony:Have this Dream and Pursue Life.

This famous meditation of Donne's puts forth two essential ideas which are representative of the Renaissance era in which it was written:

The idea that people are not isolated from one another, but that mankind is interconnected; and
The vivid awareness of mortality that seems a natural outgrowth of a time when death was the constant companion of life.
Donne brings these two themes together to affirm that any one man's death diminishes all of mankind, since all mankind is connected; yet that death itself is not so much to be feared as it at first seems. Join us in exploring these two main themes, which we have associated with the two controlling images of the meditation...the island and the bell.
No man is an island.."All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated...As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness....No man is an island, entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

They did it. They really did it. So often crudely caricatured by others, the American people yesterday stood in the eye of history and made an emphatic choice for change for themselves and the world.Rove's America was not just turned on its head yesterday. It was broken up and recast in a very different mould. One of Mr Obama's many achievements has been his refusal to accept the permanence of the blue-red divide.This marks the end of the conservative ascendancy of the past 30 years. Whether it now marks a new, sustained era of American liberalism of the sort which followed the election of 1932 must remain to be seen. What is not open to doubt is that Mr Obama's win is a milestone in America's racial and cultural evolution. It is 45 years since Martin Luther King, in the greatest of all late-20th century American speeches looked forward to the day when his children would not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.
It is a day many thought they would never see. It is hard to know whether to weep or shout for joy now that it has arrived - probably both - but it is a lesson to the world.Mr Obama will take office in January amid massive unrealisable expectations and facing a daunting list of problems - the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the broken healthcare system, the spiralling federal budget and America's profligate energy regime all prominent among them. Eclipsing them all, as Mr Obama has made clear in recent days, is the challenge of rebuilding the economy and the banking system. These, though, are issues for another day. Today is for celebration, for happiness and for reflected human glory.
Editorial: President Obama | Comment is free | The Guardian

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