Notes on Guernica

I don’t want to make a mountain out of this little Spanish molehill (actually I just don’t want to get caught doing it) but there is something about Guernica that has always moved me and, I know now, moves others as well.

There is a profound sadness in the subject of Guernica that begins with some melancholy passion in Spain and her people, and continues through any narrative of the awful event in question, and ends in our mutual humanity and horror at the reality of war.

As I wrote this little thing I heard Miles Davis’ mournful horn blowing pieces from Sketches of Spain and I could feel the breezes from the Bay of Biscay. In my mind I heard the bombing and the screams, I felt the flames and the terror and the sense of loss. Writing these few paragraphs left me exhilarated, exhausted and with an unidentifiable sense of longing.

I usually get a response from a few to several people but, at the moment, with Guernica, the responses are approaching the one hundred mark. This is not a notable thing I guess to anyone other than myself and I only write this to thank those who read and perhaps felt what I did, and to those who took the time to respond.

We share a humanity, you and I, we share a history with all it’s art and love and beauty, it’s passion and romance and all the aspirations and accomplishments, loss and longing, that have marked the lives and experiences of our ancestors. In so many ways we are woven from the same thread and are part of the same tapestry.

Our similarities outweigh by far, our political, religious, physical or ethnic differences, and in addition to sharing a past, as I was reminded by my reflections on Guernica, we share a present.

We share a present for which we must each assume responsibility because we will remain woven into the fabric of our shared and advancing future. For good or ill, we will share that future as well.

But enough about molehills.

Bob Higgins
Worldwide Sawdust

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