The Certainity of Compassion

Ariel Dorfman, the Argentine born writer, weans nostagically in the aftermath of the London bombings. He recollects his childhood experiences in post- war England, and a woman giving him her quota of the chocolates (chocolates were rationed in post- war England):

That old woman gave me more than a small bar of chocolate as the sun set on Hyde Park. She provided a glimpse into how she and her people had survived the years of terror, the bombs from above, the streets in rubble, the sirens in the night, how I myself would survive many decades afterward the coup in Chile and its terrible aftermath. I may not have understood it immediately back then, but now what doubt can there be, she is telling me all these years later, that woman who cannot possibly be alive today, she is assuring me from her London devastated by sorrow and blood, that when death calls, all we have is one another and our acts of sheer, deliberate solidarity, all we have is the certainty of our compassion.

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