We Are One

Feb. 14th, 2006 11:38 pm
I found out this evening that Andreas Katsulas (probably best known in my set of friends as G'Kar from Babylon 5) has died of cancer at age 59. I've heard he was a *wonderful* convention guest; I know he was a marvelous actor - in everything he did. (If you're not a Babylon 5 fan, you might have seen him in the remake of The Fugitive as the "One-armed Man" or in Executive Decision.)

His serious take on G'Kar was profound; his humor, however, was impressive given the quantity of makeup & prosthetics he had to wear in the role. But when I went looking for a quote to remember him by, I found this exchange (which I remember) from the Season 5 episode of Babylon 5, "The Paragon of Animals". It's Sheridan & G'Kar:

"The universe speaks in many languages, but only one voice. The language is not narn or human or centauri or gaim or minbari. It speaks in the language of hope."

"It speaks in the language of trust. It speaks in the language of strength and the language of compassion. It is the language of the heart and the language of the soul. But always it is the same voice. It is the voice of our ancestors speaking through us and the voice of our inheritors waiting to be born. The small, still voice that says: 'We are one. No matter the blood, no matter the skin, no matter the world, no matter the star. .. We are one. No matter the pain, no matter the darkness, no matter the loss, no matter the fear. .. We are one.' Here, gathered together in common cause, we begin to realize this singular truth and this singular rule that we must be kind to one another. Because each voice enriches us and ennobles us and each voice lost diminishes us. We are the voice of the universe, the soul of creation, the fire that will light our way to a better future. We are one."

"We are one."

What is remembered, lives.
I remember plainly where I was; I was at school (my junior year) working in the library - upstairs. The school happened to have access to the feed that was being sent out for education purposes, and it was on in the science department - and the library media room.

I could see the TV from where I was...I don't seem to recall actually *watching* it, but I think I remember one of the librarians, maybe, making an exclamation. I ran downstairs, and that's when I saw it for the first time. About the same time I got downstairs, the principal came on the PA system and announced what had happened - and a moment of silence.

The next thing I remember I was in class. I think I have a vague recollection of the bell sounding very, very loud. I also remember having a poem trying to form itself in my brain - I wrote lots of (mostly bad) poetry back then. It formed itself up...I was in Algebra 2 class, and wrote it in class. I think the teacher may have called on me, but I was pretty unresponsive, and I'm not sure I could answer.

When school let out, I went home & typed out the poem. (I went looking for it tonight in the box that has a lot of my old writings in it; unfortunately it seems to be gone. I think there was something about Seven Brave Souls - that might have been the title - but I can't remember it now.)

The next morning, the radio show I listened to was discussing it. I called in before school, explained that I had written a poem about it, and that I wanted to hear a song that seemed appropriate to me for some reason. The DJ let me read my poem, and went right into my chosen song - Russians by Sting. I still don't quite know why I chose that song, unless it was the haunting melody of it, and the message of "we are all the same underneath".

So today I remember. I remember the sorrow, I remember the loss, and I remember the fact that we kept going.

(BTW, MSNBC has been running a good special report about the whole thing, including a very well written article, "Seven Myths about the Challenger Shuttle Disaster".)

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