The best ones will never be our future, said a great Norwegian poet, Nordahl Grieg in 1942. It’s a poem that has spoken to me since the terrible massacres that happened in our country less than a week ago.
Death will burn like wheat,
More clearly than before we see
Each life in white pain:
It is the best ones who die.
The living rule the world.
A flock is always left—
The indispensable clever ones,
Life’s second best.
The best ones are murdered in the prisons,
Swept away by bullets and sea.
The best ones will never be our future.
The best ones simply die.
Each one who has known them
Is richer than the dead were—
They were the friends of men
And children’s fathers.
They have improved the life they left.
They live through other men.
On their graves we will write:
The best ones will always remain.
I have been thinking about this a lot. Last week some of our country’s best youth and adults were senselessly murdered. The best ones will never be our future. But the girls, boys—some of them only 14 years old—, men and women have enriched our lives, and their death is bringing a country together in a unity that none thought possible. They will always remain with us.
In the midst of this tragedy I think of all the others who die so senselessly. The ones the world never will know about. Many of them are also some of the best people in the world. How much we have missed because young girls and boys in Burma, in Africa’s Horn, and in Afghanistan never got to grow up. How many of them could have brought about great changes and joy to the world. The best ones always die. This is true in Burma. This was true in Oslo and Utoy.
We, who are life’s second best, need to make sure that the best ones will not continue to die, but live and make the world better. We also need to make sure that the ones that do die did not do so in vain.
PS. I have been out of touch for a month. The reason: Our Internet got disconnected and this is how long to get it back. I will try to be a regular blogger from now on. Stay close.