Friday, January 24, 2014

The absence of bells


Have you noticed
the absence of bells?

church

school

sleigh

and have you noticed
others not noticing?

and have you wondered
which is the greater tragedy?



1 comment:

William Michaelian said...

[From Erin via email, upon the Blogger comment box not working properly.]

Thank you, Erin...


william, this brings to mind the confiscation of church bells during war times. i borrow this information from an on-line journal:

``The confiscation and destruction of church bells in wartime is a practice of long standing. It is a tradition in European warfare that an artillery commander has rights over the bells in conquered towns. Napoleon in particular relished claiming this right, and added to his war coffers by requiring vanquished cities to buy back their bells. If communities could not, the commanding general was entitled to dispose of the bells as he saw fit, one half of the revenue was his, the other half went to the central treasury.

There is an equally lengthy tradition of nations looking to their own church bells to support their war efforts. During the eighteenth century, bells routinely fed various military campaigns. During the Franco-Prussian War, the bishop of Nancy authorized every parish in his diocese to take down all but one of their bells to make cannons for the defense of France. By the time it was internationally agreed, under the Hague Conventions in 1910, that church bells should be protected and not used for war purposes, there existed a long chain of memories linking the loss of bells to warfare, either through voluntary sacrifice, or through invasion, defeat, and punishment.

In spite of the Hague Conventions, German church bells were "mobilized" once again during the Great War, but it was between 1939 and 1945 that this trend reached its zenith, and the greatest damage to European church bells occurred. The Nazi occupation of Europe saw a volume of confiscation and subsequent destruction of bells that that was unprecedented.``

there is this warfare that we can easily see and then there is the insidious warfare of blindness and comfortable ignorance (to both violence and spirit).

every sunday in this small town at 11 o'clock in the morning the church bells ring and the huskies opposite the church howl. I cherish this. and all the other ringing too. like yours here.


xo