"As many who have known it have said of it, war is Hell. It is the outer darkness beyond the reach of love, where people who do not know one another kill one another and there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, where nothing is allowed to be real enough to be spared.

Hell is a shameful place, and it is hard to speak of what you know of it. It is hard to live in Port William and yet have in mind the blasted and burnt, bloodied and muddy and stinking battlegrounds of Okinawa, and imagine another. But imagination is what is needed. Want of imagination makes things unreal enough to be destroyed. By imagination I mean knowledge and love. I mean compassion. People of power kill children, the old send the young to die, because they have no imagination. They have power. Can you have power and imagination at the same time? Can you kill people you don't know and have compassion for them at the same time?"

-- Wendell Berry, from his novel, "Hannah Coulter"


Popular Posts