Each Remembrance Day (or Veteran's Day, for our American followers), we're asked to honour the casualties of war with a moment of silence.
This remembrance is made especially powerful by virtue of its contrast. Our busy and stimulating world rarely allows for silence. The complexity of each of our lives sometimes feels in direct opposition to contemplation. It can feel as though we're always in motion.
There's something sacred in quiet reflection. We need not seek answers in our contemplation or even communicate whatever thoughts and feelings may arise. All we have to do is engage our compassion. This is true not just of war remembrance; compassionate contemplation is healing. It's nourishing to that which is essential in life.
This Remembrance Day may not be marked with public ceremonies as it usually would; it may not be visible in our communities. That doesn't matter.
Hemingway often wrote of 'making a separate peace' — there is no armistice that can heal the wounds of war, not for its participants. The journey home is as much about the body as it is about the mind and spirit.
The colossal cost of war is impossible to truly grasp, though we ought to strive to. The attempt itself is worthy.