Thursday, March 12, 2009

five eggs

I was driving back from the supermarket a few minutes ago, listening to an interview with a fellow who has dedicated himself to building schools in parts of the world where schools -- especially those for girls -- are often burned down. Places like Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The fellow being interviewed described the importance of such efforts in various ways, one of which concerned a mother, who, when bringing home meat wrapped in newspapers, would unwrap the meat very carefully and then ask her daughter to read her the news she herself could not read.

But was there ever a time, this fellow was asked, when he had wanted to give up -- when the obstacles just seemed to be too great? And he said that right after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, he was afraid that things might be going down the shitter, that the divisions were too great and the hatred too pronounced ... from both sides.

What brought him back to a place of hope was the people around him in Pakistan and Afghanistan -- poor people who asked for his forgiveness for the attacks, although they themselves had had nothing to do with it.

And one woman, a poor woman, went beyond all words: She handed him five eggs and asked him to give them to "the widows in America."

And at that point I had to slow the car way down. There were too many tears blurring my vision. It absolutely cracked my egg.

Today I will sit with five pieces of incense.

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