Monday, 15 November 2010

The Bell That Sounds Aung, Aung, Aung....


Getting angry at each other
in the ultimate dimension
I close my eyes
and look into the future.

Three hundred years from now
Where will you be my dear,
where shall I be?

- Gatha for the Beloved One,
from a Vietnamese poem


"If you can suffer, you can gain. What is valuable cannot be obtained without effort."
"Fearlessness may be a gift but perhaps more precious is the courage acquired through endeavour, courage that comes from cultivating the habit of refusing to let fear dictate one's actions, courage that could be described as 'grace under pressure' - grace which is renewed repeatedly in the face of harsh, unremitting pressure."

(Aung San Suu Kyi, 1991, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate).

In my 2006 poetry journal, I have a picture of Daw Aung San, sitting outside in her small garden, reading. Her back is erect, softened only by the flowers tucked prettily into the nape of her neck. I refer to this picture in my mind many times, when I feel the weight of my own various exiles begin to push down on me. Grace under pressure, grace even as I suffer, these are the bells that sound Aung, Aung, Aung.... and I remember to breathe, straighten my shoulders and smile.

7 comments:

Juniper said...

A beautiful post, thank you.

Ruth said...

Chiming for us all. You, and Ms. Suu Kyi.

A Cuban In London said...

What lovely thoughts! And Aung, finally free! Free? From her house incarceration, maybe, but not from her captors. Democracy has yet a long road to go in Bhurma.

Many thanks for your birthday wishes.

Greetings from London.

Susan Erickson said...

wisdom is often hard won....the world celebrates her release.....yet her husband died while she was incarcerated...it must be so painful....her courage is enlightening....

Bee's Blog said...

This is certainly a beautiful post - being able to smile under pressure is indeed a mark of courage and will bring many graces.

Jeanne-ming said...

I love this post.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

A First Nations medicine man once said to me, "Your greatest pain is your strongest medicine," and that is so true. I so love and admire Aung San Suu Kyi - and you - for the depth of spirit that lives within you, the rises you above your circumstances - that is my favourite kind of flying. Some admiration from Across the Pond:)

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