Spark the Flame Podcast 26

A Map of the World

“One of the ancient maps of the world

is heart-shaped, carefully drawn

and once washed with bright colors,

though the colors have faded

as you might expect feelings to fade

from a fragile old heart, the brown map

of a life. But feeling is indelible,

and longing infinite, a starburst compass

pointing in all the directions

two lovers might go, a fresh breeze

swelling their sails, the future uncharted,

still far from the edge

where the sea pours into the stars.”

-Ted Kooser

In the diary you find proof that in situations which today would seem unbearable, you lived, looked around and wrote down observations, that this right hand moved then as it does today, when we may be wiser because we are able to look back upon our former condition, and for that very reason have got to admit the courage of our earlier striving in which we persisted even in sheer ignorance.” -Kafka

“So I would like to end this with a paragraph written by that young man, in a letter to his mother, the night before he was put to death.

…’and I want you all to remember — that you must not dream yourselves back to the times before the war, but the dream for you all, young and old, must be to create an ideal of human decency, and not a narrow-minded and prejudiced one. That is the great gift our country hungers for, something every little peasant boy can look forward to, and with pleasure feel he is a part of — something he can work and fight for.'”

This comes from the children’s book “Number The Stars” by Lois Lowry, and she is quoting the real-life letter of a leader of the Resistance in Denmark during Nazi occupation. His name: Kim Malthe-Bruun, and he was captured and executed by the Nazis at the age of 21.