Peace Is But the Summertime of Life

A very nice piece in Danish from Uriasposten. It gives me hope for Europe.

A short introduction including a link to the original article, followed by a number of paragraphs from the same. The translation below uses the same paragraphs included (the original paragraphs are given below the fold). To be honest, I would be proud to translate the rest if permitted to; this is just that good.

The West is under attack. We are under attack. The enemy is within our countries and he desires our death.

This is reality.

We had not expected that it would be like this. Most of us were not prepared. We were raised in a time of peace. Yes, those of us who are young know nothing other than peacetime’s bright promises of a future where everything would be good. Through our entire childhood, we have been fattened on cheap and easy dreams in which peace, freedom, joy and even our hair would spread unbounded so as to make any borders and so their protection unnecessary. From our crib we heard nothing but the soft tones of peacetime songs. For our mothers knew no other songs and our peace-loving fathers had never told us about Holger Danske. And until we discovered it for ourselves, no one had told us that peacetime is but the summertime of Life. No one had told us that freedom is the exception in the lifetime of a nation: an exception that exists solely due to those who drew their swords for it – and in places where there are still heroes who will do so as the slow wheels of time turns and struggle becomes people’s reality.

Everything we see now is only the beginnings. The hints. The future will be wilder. There will be more attacks and more blood will flow. The enemy is hungry.

To understand that which is happening now and to prepare for all that will come, we must turn our backs on the majority of the so-called news and, even more so, to the the so-called politics of Europe. We must seek out a different type of information than that we experience in the chatter of modern life. We must find our way back to the Knowledge of Life and in so doing, find the Knowledge of Struggle.

To rediscover the way back to this Knowledge of Life and Struggle, we must be open to the images and stories that are the very backbone of the West’s long life. We must hear the roots of the tree and listen to their songs – to the whispers of the myths and the testimony of history.

Both the Western myths and the testimony of history tell us of the reality of struggle’s – and of its heroes. Those who joined because their love for Life and the Fatherland called to them. Or, as it was so pointedly stated somewhere in the forward to the 2006 reprint of the cartoon mythmaker Frank Miller’s legendary Batman Saga: “Back then. It wasn’t so long ago. We had heroes”.

The last time that real heroes wandered about on European soil, was under the bloody ecstasy of Nazi Germany. One of our own countrymen, the Grundtvigian “high school” teacher Aage Møller, stated it in a way that can be heard by Danes… During the occupation, he gave his voice and his pen to the Resistance and after liberation he published a retelling and interpretation of the Nordic myths – which sounds like this when Møller cuts to the quick of the mythic tale of the reality and conditions of struggle:

One must first and foremost learn to find oneself in the rows of those ready to fight. One must learn the signals calling to battle. One must learn about duty, what it is one must do without regard to whether one wants to or not. One must learn of that for which one struggles. One must learn to know and love the values that are so great, so it is possible to suffer the wounds and pains for their sake and so that one has in deed done one’s duty. One must learn to believe in those life values that worth offering everything for, so as to hold one’s head high in defeat and be humble in victory.

This is how Aage Møller could speak and write, because he had drunk deep of the spring water of the myths and knew what he believed in. He believed that Man is a spiritual creature that only first understands himself when it is realized that Life is always a struggle. He understood the spirit does not flourish until Odin’s fighting spirit and Frigg’s hopes for peace go hand-in-hand; when Holger Danske’s shield is decorated with both lions and hearts and when the meaning of the struggle oversees the garden in which peace can grow.

Today, in which these lines are published, is Good Friday. The grave is dark and Death smiles.

But there, where hearts wait for the dawn, everything is possible.

On Easter morning, everything will be new. The light will return. Hope will return. The King will return.

When the Prince of Peace at last establishes his Kingdom is when the struggle is no more. When hope is reality and the Light is victorious, then will the bells of joy ring from a thousand towers and we will put down our weapons.

But not yet. It is war time how – and in war time, the order is clear and impossible to misunderstand: stand fast. Stand fast and form a shield wall on the West’s green earth and heavenly blue creed.

Welcome to Reality.

Vesten er under angreb. Vi er under angreb. Fjenden er i vore lande, og hans længsel er vores død.

Dét er virkeligheden.

Vi havde ikke regnet med, at det skulle gå sådan. De fleste af os var ikke forberedte. For vi er opvoksede i en fredstid. Ja, de af os, der er unge, kender slet ikke andet end fredstidens lyse løfter om en fremtid, hvor alt ville blive godt. Gennem hele vores opvækst er vi blevet stopfodret med letkøbte drømme om en tid hvor freden, friheden, glæden og det udslåede hår ville overskride alle grænser – og gøre vores eget grænseværn overflødigt. Ved vores sengegærde har vi kun hørt de blide klange af fredstidens sange. For vore håbefulde mødre kendte ingen andre sange, og vore fredelige fædre har aldrig fortalt os om Holger Danske. Indtil vi selv opdagede det, havde ingen fortalt os, at freden kun er livets sommervejr. Ingen havde røbet for os, at friheden er en undtagelse i folkeslagenes liv, som kun findes dér, hvor kæmper har draget deres sværd for den – og hvor der fortsat er helte, der vil gøre det nødvendige, når tiden drejer sit store hjul, og kampen bliver menneskers virkelighed.

Alt det, vi ser nu, er kun begyndelser og antydninger. Fremtiden bliver vildere. Der vil komme flere angreb, og der vil flyde mere blod. For fjenden er sulten.

For at forstå det, der sker lige nu, og for at forberede os på alt det, der vil komme til at ske, må vi vende ryggen til det meste af den såkaldte nyhedsstrøm og endnu mere af det såkaldte politiske liv i Europa. Vi må selv opsøge en anden slags oplysning end den, vi møder i samtids-snakkens evige kværnen. Vi må finde tilbage til livsoplysningen – og dermed også kampoplysningen.

For at genfinde vejen ind til denne oplysning af menneskets liv og menneskets kamp må vi åbne os for de billeder og fortællinger, der er selve rygraden i vesterlandets lange liv. Vi må lægge øret til træets rod og lytte til rodnettets sange – til myternes hvisken og historiens vidnesbyrd.

For både vesterlandets myter og historiens vidnesbyrd fortæller os om kampens virkelighed – og om de helte, der er gået ind i den, fordi deres kærlighed til liv og fædreland kaldte på dem. Eller som det så rammende formuleres et sted i indledningen til 2006-genudgivelsen af tegneserie-mytemesteren Frank Millers legendariske Batman Saga: ‘Back then. It wasn’t so long ago. We had heroes’.

Sidste gang, heltene for alvor vandrede på europæisk jord, var under Nazi-Tysklands blodrus. … Én af vore egne landsmænd – den grundtvigske højskolemand Aage Møller – har sagt det, så det kan høres af danske hjerter. … Under besættelsen gav han sin mund og pen til modstandsbevægelsen, og efter befrielsen udgav han en genfortælling og tolkning af nordens myter, der bærer tydeligt præg af krigstidens erfaringer. Et sted i bogen – der ganske enkelt hedder Nordiske Myter – lyder det sådan her, når Møller skærer ind til benet i myternes tale om kampens virkelighed og vilkår:

‘Man maa først og fremmest lære at finde sin plads i rækkerne, der er opstillet til kamp. Man maa lære kampsignalerne at kende. Man maa lære, hvad pligt er, hvad det er man skal, uden hensyn til, om man har lyst til det eller ej. Man maa lære, hvad man kæmper for. Man maa kende og elske de værdier, der er saa store, saa man kan lide saar og smerter for dem og finde, at man derved kun har gjort sin pligt. Man maa lære at tro paa livsværdier, som det er værd at ofre alt for, saa man kan bære nederlag med rank ryg, og saa man kan bære sejren med ydmyghed.’

Sådan kunne Aage Møller tale og skrive, fordi han havde drukket af myternes kildevæld og vidste, hvad han troede på. Han troede på, at mennesket er et åndsvæsen, som først forstår sig selv, når det indser, at livet altid er et kampliv. Han forstod, at ånden først blomstrer, når Odins kampvilje og Friggs fredshåb går hånd i hånd, når Holger Danskes skjold er prydet af både løver og hjerter – når kampens mening er at værne den blomsterhave, hvor freden kan gro.

I dag, hvor disse linjer offentliggøres, er det Langfredag. Graven er mørk, og Døden griner.

Men dér, hvor hjerterne venter på morgengry, er alt muligt.

Påskemorgen bliver alt nyt. Lyset vender tilbage. Håbet vender tilbage. Kongen vender tilbage.

Når Fredsfyrsten til sidst opretter sit rige, er kampen ovre. Når håbet bliver virkelighed, og lyset sejrer, skal glædesklokkerne ringe fra de tusind tårne, og vi skal sænke vores våben.

Men ikke endnu. For nu er det krigstid – og i krigstid er ordren enkel og umisforståelig: stå fast – stå fast og dan en skjoldvagt om Vestens grønne jord og himmelblå tro. …

Velkommen til Virkeligheden.”

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