“It happened, but not to you.” ~ Wislawa Szymborska, from “Could Have”

“The noble man’s soul has two goals
To die or to achieve its dreams” ~ Abdelrahim Mahmud, “The Martyr”

Death, dying, and living on the mind lately. I’ll try to write tomorrow.

Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros were killed Wednesday in Misurata, Libya. Hetherington was a conflict photographer and director of the Afghan war documentary “Restrepo,” and Hondros (click links to see some of the brilliant images taken by these two photojournalists) was one of the top war photographers of his generation. Two other photographers, Guy Martin and Michael Christopher Brown, were injured while working with Hetherington and Hondros.

From Plato (read at memorial service):

The souls of people, on their way to Earth-life, pass through a room full of lights; each takes a taper — often only a spark — to guide it in the dim country of this world. But some souls, by rare fortune, are detained longer — have time to grasp a handful of tapers, which they weave into a torch. “These are the torch-bearers of humanity — its poets, seers, and saints, who lead and lift the race out of darkness, toward the light. They are the law-givers, the light-bringers, way-showers, and truth-tellers, and without them humanity would lose its way in the dark.


Could Have

It could have happened.
It had to happen.
It happened earlier. Later.
Nearer. Farther off.
It happened, but not to you.

You were saved because you were the first.
You were saved because you were the last.
Alone. With others.
On the right. The left.
Because it was raining. Because of the shade.
Because the day was sunny.

You were in luck — there was a forest.
You were in luck — there were no trees.
You were in luck — a rake, a hook, a beam, a brake,
A jamb, a turn, a quarter-inch, an instant …

So you’re here? Still dizzy from
another dodge, close shave, reprieve?
One hole in the net and you slipped through?
I couldn’t be more shocked or
how your heart pounds inside me.

~ Wislawa Szymborska