Musashi Mix Inq

Palliativity 124: Swords and Peace

Posted on May 4, 2011


It was only last week that my partner and I were discussing why the swords that hang in our bedroom have the handles on the right. In times of war, Japanese swords are displayed so that the samurai could reach up with his right hand and draw the blade at any moment.

The swords, an amalgam of history and steel, have hung over my bed this way since 9/11.

Just a few days ago I asked myself, what would it take for me to reverse the swords? It was so easy to turn them the last time, ten years ago. I hesitate to flip them back; to fight entropy, chaos and human nature and reframe my world.

“Breaking news – Osama bin Laden is dead…”


Only days after Hiroshima, America celebrated victory over the Axis and cheered in the streets. Ticker tape poured from office windows like so many tweets. And yet the war of the atom was only beginning…

I’ve turned the swords now, on the day that would have been my Grandmother’s 90th birthday.

I’d rather sleep under the symbol of peace, determined to make it last as long as it can.

It’s not the death of one man.

It’s believing in the future.

It’s being brave enough to hope.


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