Friday, August 5, 2011

Hurting Silence



I haven't posted anything since the awful killings on July 22th.  I simply don't have words for it. That something that terrible should happen in my little country, previously so peaceful.
More than 70 persons were killed.  Many were badly injured.  The whole country is marked by this tragedy.

Three days later I was in Trondheim, my family's town, and I participated in the solidarity walk, we were hundreds of thousands across the country, in every city, every little town, walking in silence, carrying roses and torches.
Just before the walk, there were a few speeches in the town square, and there were artists performing.
In the pouring rain, we stood there, my daugher and I, in the middle of the crowd, listening to the words once written by Nordahl Grieg: "Til Ungdommen" (To the Youth)


Til Ungdommen
av Nordahl Grieg

Kringsatt av fiender,
gå inn i din tid!
Under en blodig storm -
vi deg til strid!

Kanskje du spør i angst,
udekket, åpen:
hva skal jeg kjempe med
hva er mitt våpen?

Her er ditt vern mot vold,
her er ditt sverd:
troen på livet vårt,
menneskets verd.

For all vår fremtids skyld,
søk det og dyrk det,
dø om du må - men:
øk det og styrk det!

Stilt går granatenes
glidende bånd
Stans deres drift mot død
stans dem med ånd!

Krig er forakt for liv.
Fred er å skape.
Kast dine krefter inn:
døden skal tape!

Elsk og berik med drøm
alt stort som var!
Gå mot det ukjente
fravrist det svar.

Ubygde kraftverker,
ukjente stjerner.
Skap dem, med skånet livs
dristige hjerner!

Edelt er mennesket,
jorden er rik!
Finnes her nød og sult
skyldes det svik.

Knus det! I livets navn
skal urett falle.
Solskinn og brød og ånd
eies av alle.

Da synker våpnene
maktesløs ned!
Skaper vi menneskeverd
skaper vi fred.

Den som med høyre arm
bærer en byrde,
dyr og umistelig,
kan ikke myrde.

Dette er løftet vårt
fra bror til bror:
vi vil bli gode mot
menskenes jord.

Vi vil ta vare på
skjønnheten, varmen
som om vi bar et barn
varsomt på armen!



English translation by Joe Gorman (July 28th 2011):

Encircled by enemies,
your time has come!
With blood all around -
prepare to resist.

Anxiously you ask,
defenceless, innocent:
with what shall I fight,
what is my weapon?

Here is your shield,
here is your sword:
faith in our life,
and human dignity.

Our common future:
shape it, define it;
even though the price be death,
you must strengthen mankind!

The weapons of evil
spread silently around us.
Their deathly advances
your spirit must stop!

War despises life,
Peace is its creator.
Give your whole self:
and death loses its sting.

Make greatness and love
grow stronger in your dreams!
So you face the unknown
with quiet understanding.

Great achievements,
distant dreams.
Bring them forth,
through the lives you protect.

Noble is mankind,
bountiful is the earth.
Where there is hunger and suffering,
it is our failing.

In the name of all that is good in life,
injustice must be crushed!
Light, nourishment and free thought
are our common inheritance.

Then the weapons will fall,
sink down, useless!
Create respect for humanity
and we create peace.

He whose right arm
carries a burden,
priceless and precious,
can never murder.

This we promise
from brother to brother:
we will respect
this planet we share.

We will take care of
beauty and warmth
as if bearing an infant
gently in our arms!

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