Mine is reasonably small having always lived low, turned off lights and faucets, eschewed useless stuff, reused, recycled. I do not aspire to shrink it, but, like the first people in these green hills,
I want to leave no footprint at all, to move through life in gentle, charitable silence not disturbing fragile things, cosmic balances or the universal pulse so that, when my candle sputters into darkness, the tiniest leaf is unmoved by the wisp of its rising smoke.
The painter in overalls, he’s somewhere uptown, his blue-spattered hands tensed on a grating. Imagine him climbing the latticed scaffolding.
No children at the crossing for the library, whose two dark lions drowse, even now, imperturbable. No low light along an alleyway,
the pawn shops, moments laced with faces in windows, in cars. The sidewalk murmurs under our feet, worries and flutters at curbs,
until, unthought, it leaves us empty, down and rooted, within ourselves. Insistent still: what was but isn’t there, what fills this space with space.
Study war no more
Mar 18, 2011
Michael Izbicki grew up in a nondenominational church in California. A National Merit Scholarship finalist, he chose to go to the U.S. Naval Academy out of a sense of duty to his country during a time of war. At the naval academy he began to doubt whether the career to which he had committed himself could be squared with the tenets of just war doctrine. He got in trouble when he responded no to this exam question: "If given the order, would you launch a missile carrying a nuclear warhead?" After a four-year legal battle, the navy discharged him as a conscientious objector. Izbicki may have to reimburse the service for part or all of his education (New York Times, February 22).