To Love, is to War

I have heard that humanity is good.

Of course hearing is very different from believing.

That is, I never believed it.

 

Then came November 5, 2015.

 

There was a man. A retired Corporal of the military.

He told me to close my eyes. I did.

He told me to envision someone I loved. I did.

After that all I remember is being bombarded by a cacophony that bled the soul out of me. I was on the battlefield.

Gunshots, missiles, screams, chaos.

Yes, I was overwhelmed by the gory details I visualized following every sound that disrupted my peace of mind. But that was not what shook me the most. What truly frightened me was the will. The will it takes to indulge oneself in such violence for the sake of a people that are prone to destroy love_in_war_by_makarov771-d6kei36themselves. The will it takes to put not only one’s own life on the line but also their love. Their love for everyone and everything in the world. People live for love, but these men are willing to risk never feeling it again. Never feeling the quiet inhale and exhale of breath of your own child as you rock them to sleep. Never seeing the smile that brings the stars to life on the face of the women you love, and never again finding solace in the idea that you inspired those stars to shine brighter than ever before. Perhaps one enters the battleground in hopes of protecting the love that they nurtured in this world. Perhaps they would rather die then watch every last morsel of reality that they loved be torn to pieces. These men died protecting something that overpowers the cruelty of humanity, and I respect that more than I can say.

Amidst the gunshots, missiles, screams, and chaos I developed a new outlook on love and war.

To this day, I interpret every man that dies, every life that’s lost, and every heart that stops as a means of hope. Hope that perhaps we are not doomed. If young men, soldiers, have the strength to die not because dulce et decoorum est pro patria mori, but because it is sweet and honorable to die protecting a love whose roots, if pulled, would mean utter loss and confusion, then perhaps…perhaps we are saved.

People often spend their entire lives trying to put love into words, but there are no words for it. I would argue that the best way to capture its essence is by witnessing acts like this that radiate beauty. A beauty that lies in action. So yes, in a sense love can be defined as war. Such a strong passion can only be anchored by what seems to be its opposite. War is a result of the love we feel, as it is an innate need to remain in control of it.

I still remember the echoes of gunshots, missiles, screams, and chaos.

Then he told me to open my eyes. I did.

But my heart opened along with it.

And once again I recalled hearing that humanity is good.

Of course hearing is very different from believing.

Regardless, I believed it.

 

 

 

Sources:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bqof1mx9nPM/UnmIdT_bbbI/AAAAAAAAAU8/SEBK1sSkLwM/s1600/love+alone.png

http://orig08.deviantart.net/c015/f/2013/242/6/8/love_in_war_by_makarov771-d6kei36.jpg

 

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12 thoughts on “To Love, is to War

  1. Dear Sania,

    I must say that this is one of the more powerful pieces I have had the honour of reading in this class in three years. So first off, thank you for putting into words an experience that affected so many of us so profoundly. It is not often that I find myself able to reflect my own thoughts and feelings in a writers words– often I read as a student who is to there to soak the wisdom of the page– but what you have weaved together here has liberated the feelings I have found locked within myself ever since that fateful day. I only hope you can realize the gift that you have and the magnitude of what it is I am trying to say. Benjamin Franklin said that the way to immortality was “Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.” In this piece you have accomplished the former with great beauty.

    Your ability to weave literary works like the poem dulce et decoorum est pro patria mori, into your work shows a high level of literary skill, and the structural form you took indicates your great instinct. The diction choices and poetic rhythm you established added greatly to the pathos of your work. One line in particular will forever be in my mind: “”A beauty that lies in action.” Amazing.

    In all honesty, though I know we are meant to offer critique as well, in this piece, I have very little to offer. Perhaps you could have started a new paragraph after “…perhaps we are saved.”, as a means to continue your structural format and driven home the pathos by allowing a pause after such a powerful line, but this is a nit-pick.

    Overall I would like to thank you again for this work. It has humbled and honored me to read. Thank you.

    Sincerely,
    Siddharth

    1. Dear Siddharth,

      I greatly appreciate your kind words…they mean more than I can say. I am humbled that you took the time to read my piece and your comment tore my heart to pieces.

      Thank you so much.

      Yours truly,
      Sania

  2. Dearest Sania,

    WOW.

    I’m in awe of the beauty that you sewed so delicately into each sentence of yours. There is such a gentleness and a kind of sweetness that echoes through your voice in a profound way. I love that you were able to associate something that seems so dark and desolate with love.

    This post has not only opened my eyes, but it’s opened my heart. This past week with all the tragedy going on in the world and with all the hardships I face in my own life, I found myself feeling bitter and harsh towards humanity. Yet I read your post, and it has reminded me that there is always something or someone good in every situation. Always. So I thank you for writing this. I’ve always admired you so much for your unique viewpoints, but this just makes you admire you a thousand times more. Thank you.

    Yours truly,
    Vanessa

    1. Dearest Vanessa,

      I am glad to hear that you heard my voice throughout the piece. Your comment was so incredibly thoughtful.

      Thank you.

      Yours always,
      Sania

  3. Dear Sania,

    First, I would like to say that I love that your voice truly comes through in your writing, and I feel as though you genuinely mean what you say with a passion. I loved the parallelism in this piece. I’m a sucker for pieces of writing that come “full circle” I guess you could say, and when the ending is similar to how it started. You did this beautifully. Congratulations, really.

    Aside from the amazing rhetoric in the piece, as I began to read this piece I was immediately intrigued; first by the title, and then the opening lines. As it got into your longer “sections” or the lengthier paragraphs you had written, I found that you very effectively explained your idea that to love, is to war through meaningful examples and connections.

    I’ll be honest, at first I wasn’t sure how you were going to tell us that, somehow, to love, is to war; perhaps because of my own personal opinions on war. However, I think you had a very refreshing, very unique idea. It really opened my eyes and showed my heart a different side to something I have come to loathe. It was a very interesting concept, and I really do appreciate you sharing it with us. It was really, truly beautiful.

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful writing with us! Please keep writing and sharing!

    Sincerely,
    Tay

    1. Dear Taylor,

      Thank you so much for commenting! I’m also a sucker for circles!
      But seriously, it meant sooooo much for you to take the time to write this comment.

      Thank you.

      Yours Truly,
      Sania

  4. Dearest Sania,
    There are no words, phrases, or even thoughts in my mind to explain how incredible this piece was; every time I read it, my mind is driven into an inexplicable state of chaos, one which takes quite some time to recover from. I believe that the reason for such a thing, is of the contrast between the two focus words in your magnificent writing piece. Questions arose in my mind, questions which I am still unable to even formulate an answer to; questions such as the meaning of love, the cause of war, and the possibility of finding love in war. I feel that reading this piece has changed my own thinking in a multitude of ways. It has taught me an essential philosophy which I have, until now, overlooked, and it has given me inspiration which I have been unable to find throughout this week. There is this certain, beauty, to your piece, despite the fact that you’re talking of something as dreadful as war. You never cease to amaze me.

    Sania, your writing brilliance flows throughout this piece. There is no word, no letter, that has been wasted. In my opinion, your emotion was conveyed over to me, as when I read this beautiful piece for the second time I honestly thought that I felt the same emotions that you conveyed into your words (at least I believe I did). The simplicity of the first few sentences, with their unique structure, reeled me in. From there, as soon as you started to make your sentences become more complex, and flare your majestic writing genius, there was no escape. From there, my mind was sent into this continuous loop, where my mind would be in a state of chaos, calm down again, and go back into that contemplative state as soon as I would give your piece a second reading.

    If I had to tell you everything that you did well, then I would most likely be here for another few hours, continuously typing. To avoid that laborious fate, I’d love to give you what I thought were the most effective parts of your writing piece (and believe me, that was almost as hard to choose). In my opinion, what truly sent me barreling off the cliff was your incredibly well thought-out structure. When I began this piece, I thought the beginning portion may be akin to a poem that you would analyze later on; when I came to the end of it, I realized how wrong I was. There would be simple sentences to begin with, and simple sentences to end it off. In my opinion, those simple sentences, at the very end, had the most power.

    When soldiers die for their country, that IS love. That is not a bloody death, not a death that goes in vain. It is a death for the love of one’s own country, one’s own people, one’s own family and friends. It is for all those people that they die. And that is love. I want to thank you for giving me this mindset, as it has been able to give my mind a sort of satisfaction, an agreement which my heart

  5. Sorry, the post automatically sent for whatever reason (I don’t understand technology…). Please either ignore, or delete the first post.

    Dearest Sania,
    There are no words, phrases, or even thoughts in my mind to explain how incredible this piece was; every time I read it, my mind is driven into an inexplicable state of chaos, one which takes quite some time to recover from. I believe that the reason for such a thing, is of the contrast between the two focus words in your magnificent writing piece. Questions arose in my mind, questions which I am still unable to even formulate an answer to; questions such as the meaning of love, the cause of war, and the possibility of finding love in war. I feel that reading this piece has changed my own thinking in a multitude of ways. It has taught me an essential philosophy which I have, until now, overlooked, and it has given me inspiration which I have been unable to find throughout this week. There is this certain, beauty, to your piece, despite the fact that you’re talking of something as dreadful as war. You never cease to amaze me.

    Sania, your writing brilliance flows throughout this piece. There is no word, no letter, that has been wasted. In my opinion, your emotion was conveyed over to me, as when I read this beautiful piece for the second time I honestly thought that I felt the same emotions that you conveyed into your words (at least I believe I did). The simplicity of the first few sentences, with their unique structure, reeled me in. From there, as soon as you started to make your sentences become more complex, and flare your majestic writing genius, there was no escape. From there, my mind was sent into this continuous loop, where my mind would be in a state of chaos, calm down again, and go back into that contemplative state as soon as I would give your piece a second reading.

    If I had to tell you everything that you did well, then I would most likely be here for another few hours, continuously typing. To avoid that laborious fate, I’d love to give you what I thought were the most effective parts of your writing piece (and believe me, that was almost as hard to choose). In my opinion, what truly sent me barreling off the cliff was your incredibly well thought-out structure. When I began this piece, I thought the beginning portion may be akin to a poem that you would analyze later on; when I came to the end of it, I realized how wrong I was. There would be simple sentences to begin with, and simple sentences to end it off. In my opinion, those simple sentences, at the very end, had the most power; however, your complex sentences were what gave me the guidance to understand your thoughts. You’re a true master in the art of being able to convey you’re emotions and thoughts, and that is what gave this piece the immeasurable power that it possesses.

    When soldiers die for their country, that IS love. That is not a bloody death, not a death that goes in vain. It is a death for the love of one’s own country, one’s own people, one’s own family and friends. It is for all those people that they die. And that is love. I want to thank you for giving me this mindset, as it has been able to give my mind a sort of satisfaction, an agreement which my heart and brain were able to come to. I cannot thank you enough for that, as an individual achieves that unison between the brain and the mind, they are able to find peace within even the most violent of events. This was the answer I came to after having my mind plunged into chaos.

    If there was any, even the least shred of improvement which I could offer, it would be to perhaps add a quote from the presentation, or even from other veterans of war. That is just me being picky, but I offered that in the sense that your piece would be heavily augmented through different perspectives from different sources. By that, I mean that if you perhaps had a different quote or text that you would present to your audience, it may be able to have them see from other points of view, and given that you are a master in the art of analysis, you’re analysis of the quote may give this piece a little more impact; however, being able to make this piece even slightly better seems like quite a difficult feat to accomplish, as I see very little things which I would want to change.

    Sanya, I want to thank you for changing my world-view on war and love. For giving me greater capacity to understand acts and events which I label as evil. For being a person whom I consider a role-model. You truly have a gift in almost everything I witness you do, and you do not squander it in even the slightest sense. So thanks.

    Thanks, for being someone whom I can aspire to learn from.

    Sincerely Yours,

    Rehman

    1. Dear Rehman,

      Awwww! Thank you so much for everything you said! I am so grateful and appreciate how much time you must have sacrificed to write your comment.

      Thank you.

      Yours Truly,
      Sania

  6. Dear Siddharth, Vanessa, Taylor, and Rehman,

    I cannot put into words how much everything you guys said meant to me. Sometimes it is difficult to look at one’s own writing and tell yourself that it’s actually good writing. You know what I mean? Anyway, it was nice to hear the positive feedback and I really needed it. Thank you so so so much. You guys are the best!

    Sincerely yours,
    Sania

  7. Sania,

    what a lovely and thought provoking post. I was the General that spoke that day… though my real rank is actually Corporal. That said, rank is far less important than the message, understanding, compassion, and love.

    Thank you! Your words inspire me to continue sharing my story and the stories of my brothers in arms.

    Much gratitude…

    1. Dear Mr. Fowler,

      I have so much to say, so I suggest you get comfortable!
      First off, thank you for taking the time to even read my blog, let alone respond to it.
      I was so incredibly touched that you commented.

      Also, let me just say that I cannot begin to comprehend what it is like on the front lines. I feel like you guys deserve much more credit than you receive, and yet people like you continue to go through what you went through, and I respect that more than I can say. Some actions are greater than words.

      Moreover, I just wanted to say that your presentation really did make a difference and I beg you never to stop spreading such information. Raising awareness for things people don’t see firsthand is difficult, but it is important nonetheless.

      Much love to you and to all the men who fought by your side,
      Sania

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