Saturday, October 13, 2007

I can hear her breathing


I just watched a speech by Arundhati Roy titled Come September. Its over 44 minutes long so I don't want to embed the video, but if you haven't already heard it, I'd invite you to follow the link and watch it. She is speaking in September 2002 and begins by aligning herself with anti-nationalism:

Flags are bits of colored cloth that governments use first to shrink-wrap people's brains and then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead.
Roy pays homage to the grief the US is experiencing on the anniversary of 9/11. And then she sadly and kindly says to all of us "welcome to the world" by recounting past Septembers and the griefs we so conveniently forget.

She ends her speech with words I have heard quoted before, but still bring tears of hope to me. I'll write them in the form of poetry, because that's how I hear them:

The time has come
the world has said.
Perhaps things will become
worse and then better.
Perhaps there is a small god
up in heaven
readying herself for us.
Another world is possible,
she's on her way.
Maybe many of us won't be here
to greet her.
But on a quiet day
if I listen very carefully
I can hear her breathing.

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