Chapter 15 - On the Wings of a Bird
While Dayita made her last comparison to illustrate the tragic potential of the imperial powered depopulation genocide, I felt terribly ill, ill in my stomach. I saw the images of the genocide that she had talked about, flashing into my mind. I began loosing my breath. I found myself beginning to cry. "Mankind must awake and prevent this while there is still time to do so!" I heard myself say in protest, again and again, "This can't be allowed! This mustn't happen!"
I felt tears running down my face. The tears came unstoppable. The tears were for the people I had seen and had learned to admire during the conference, people like Nic, Astrid, Tara, and others. I could see their faces. I beheld their smiles. I remembered their gentle manners and their feelings and concerns for one-another and the world. I could mentally see them being erased. I cried for them, for myself, for the loss of humanity to the world. I couldn't control the deeply stirred emotions from this sudden eruption of a deep-reaching unspeakable sadness. I got up hastily, and left the auditorium. I made it to the far end of the lobby before I broke down completely.
I cried not because the statistics had been overwhelming. I knew the statistics. I understood what they meant. I had talked about these issues with Steve and with others before him, and also with Nic. Indeed, the woman hadn't presented anything that I didn't already know. In fact, she had stepped lightly in defining the horror. I cried, because this knowledge had suddenly been given a new dimension against the background of an unfolding love that had come into my life, of people I had come into contact with. My love had begun to envelop them and myself. It had made everyone more precious. I suddenly felt more deeply for those people, including those that I had met only in passing at the conference. I cried also for the little Soviet children who had sung for us during the opening ceremony, and also for the beautiful people that I had fallen in love with five times in ten minutes in Randy's way. How many of them would find themselves being swept away in the flow of death? And that didn't include all those other people who were most dear to me back home and abroad, like Sylvia, Ushi, Steve, Tony, and everyone else that I knew and embraced in my love, including all the rest of mankind that suddenly appeared much more precious. They were all suddenly caught up in this flow of death as tragic victims.
I cried because I knew Dayita from India had not fabricated one single aspect of her ugly presentation, because India was her home where this train of insanity began. Thus she had gone lightly over the facts. I felt deep within me that everything that she had said did have the potential to come to pass, because no one of humanity had cared enough for 3,500 years to raise one finger to stop the 'empires of the willing' from unleashing their tragedy, which the modern empires had promised they would unleash anew in ever larger measures. I cried, because the movement for a new renaissance of love that Steve, Ushi, and I had hoped to set in motion, seemed so hopelessly feeble all of a sudden. I hardly noticed in my up welling agony that someone was sitting beside me.
I had rushed to the far end of the lobby in the hope to be alone. Even this seemed to be denied to me now. As I looked up, I noticed a woman sitting beside me offering me a handkerchief to try my tears. "Let me help you," she said in English with a Russian accent. She spoke with a lovely and clear voice. I looked at her, questioningly. She appeared to be one of the Soviet students who had organized the conference. She was sitting patiently beside me, offering me her handkerchief. I had noticed that her face seemed familiar. Perhaps she had been ushering at one of the doors. Now she was reaching out to me with an open hand. She began to smile as I looked at her. Her smile seemed infinitely precious against the dark predictions that would likely come true some day. Her smile appeared like a light in that darkness.
I reached for the woman's hand and held it tight. "We must not let this happen," I said to her. "Humanity is too precious. We are not cattle that have outgrown their pasture. We are human beings. We have made this Earth rich, not poor. We have created the resources that enable five and a half billion people to live on a planet that once supported just a few million. If it weren't for our ingenuity as human beings for creating constantly new resources for living, the Earth still wouldn't support more than just those few million people that existed for all those hundreds of thousands of years before we began to develop the capacity inherent in us as human beings. We have achieved immensely, miraculously almost. And now those noble and holy fascists in high places want to take all of this away from us and force us back to the stone age kind of subsistence. They want to destroy what we have become and what we have achieved. Just look at the world, we have become beautiful people in every respect. We can love, we can create art, technologies, civilizations; we can create wonders that never existed before. We also have the potential to create a future that is brighter than anyone has ever dreamed of. Now, suddenly, we face that insanity by the most powerful people on Earth, whose goal is our doom, and the system for their existence promises to be our death. We can't let this happen! We simply can not let this happen! We must do all we can to stop them! But who are we compared to them?"
The woman just nodded. She didn't say anything.
After an 'eternity' had passed I took the handkerchief that was offered and dried my tears. Her patient listening to my outpouring pain seemed to have made the pain less severe.
Strangely, the woman didn't ask what it was that I said must never happen. Perhaps she knew the conference agenda and the type of lecture this lecture had been. Or she might have been in the auditorium with me. Or maybe those terrible details that caused my tears didn't seem important to her in the light of my agony. Perhaps it seemed more important to her at the moment just to stop my tears.
"My friends call me Olive," she said, when I gave her the handkerchief back, "I'm Olive Osipov." She reached out her hand moments later for a handshake. "May I offer you a cup of coffee?" she said during the handshake. "There is a restaurant not far from here. The cafe' at the center is already closed."
Coffee didn't seem important to me at the time. Still, I said yes. It was her beautiful human gesture that suddenly became important. It stood out above the background of pain as something infinitely precious. The touch of humanity that she offered was important to me, something to hold on to, to relish. A cup of coffee didn't compare as important to that, except that it was an element of human culture that links one back to its long history and humanity. In this context it seemed important not to reject the lovely gesture of her outstretched hand that seemed linked to the same humanity that became reflected in her caring.
She was right. The coffee shop was nearby. It wasn't more than a couple of blocks away along the crowded and windy sidewalk. She told me that she was a music student and also served as a volunteer assistant at the conference. "My boyfriend is a music student too," she said. She added proudly that he is already performing with the symphony. She said there would be a concert performed that very night. She even offered to 'smuggle' me into the concert hall for free, should I be interested. "The people who usher there are all my friends," she said proudly. "All music students are allowed to enter for free when there is room left. The free entrance privilege also includes our escorts. Would you like to go to the symphony tonight as my escort?"
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