Before there was history, there was presence.
Absence called forth fact. Proof of ownership,
evidence of love, even the sacred cover of
"identity" defend against the loss of all
Children teach us presence, but we
bind them to our histories, stifle them with
codes of conduct, vocabularies of regret.
Warriors, note that, when you aim at
Any enemy who appears in your sights
was here first as a child. Every man and woman
crawled on this planet face down
in the earth, licked it, loved it
we called it "God's creation" or demeaned
it as some absent, empty space. We belong
here, all of us belong here. War is hatred for
our presence in this place.
Dan's response to reading The Wars by Timothy Findley.
The story is buoyed up by an ocean of regret and sadness--the ocean on which the protagonist sails to yet another Troy. Futility, error, cruelty, love. A very great book with fascinating, intermingled narratives.
"The Wars (1978), Findley's most successful novel, has been translated into numerous languages and was made into a film. The Wars uses the device of a story-within-a-story to illustrate how a personality transcends elemental forces even while being destroyed by them."
Review retrieved on June 5, 2009 from