God is great!
From the cradle of civilization a voice flies into the abyss — “someone dies for freedom tonight.” All of us who live in buildings of small apartments; all of us who have gone to our roofs to escape claustrophobia, heat, misery, watch as others escape to their roofs to yell out their desires, their love of freedom — “God is great!” they scream. They are heard by the globe. They are heard by the militias who come running to their buildings to put out the inferno of light that threatens the darkness. They are heard by those who would kill them, maim them, destroy their temples in body and soul.
Yes, we are witnessing in this time of suffering and contraction the greatest proof of humanity. The proof of those who wish one simple, profound state of being — freedom. It is true that multilayered events are difficult to understand. I do not pretend to know all of the levels of motivation regarding this incredible outburst of human yearning we are witnessing through Iran. But it is not difficult to recognize when people sprint to the summit of their homes to scream at the top of their lungs — “God is great!” — how that feels in the core of our existence.
Earlier thousands came into the streets knowing that this day might extract their last breaths on this planet. They had been warned by the greatest authority in their world. The ultimate authority. They are pouring forth from the beginning of civilization in the most appropriate place of all. A cornucopia of spirit rushing from the first horn to be heard in our hearts. That sound first reverberated in that place now called Iran.
There are those who would say that you cannot reduce complex political events to a deed of spirit. I believe that we feel profoundly this momentous courage because we all bathe in the nectar of human spirit. It is an existence that cannot be tethered no matter how much some have tried. We have ample proof of this fact throughout the millennia. You need not go any deeper than your own heart, for no matter who you are, you cannot ignore the music coming from Teheran on this solstice day. Though it matters greatly on some level the result of such courageous acts, on another level the immediate result does not matter. Because sooner or later a river of freedom will cleanse the torrents of blood which flow through the streets of Teheran tonight. It is inevitable and that is what all authorities know in their concrete hearts, solidified muscles that resist the flow of blood, which materializes before their very eyes. Blood erupts resulting from panic roiling inside ideologues who can no more taste the truth than they can see their own love. Freedom is truth. Truth is love. If you believe for one solitary moment that this is a simplistic point of view, try to live that way.
Next time we go to our roof to escape the heat, to escape the misery of life, next time we hear the song Up on the Roof, let us remember the night in Teheran when our neighbors flew to the top of their lives, scaled the heights of their buildings and shouted into the dark air, “God is great!”
Jack Schimmelman lives in Levittown, N.Y. and contributes occasionally to the Gazette.