On a cold Christmas eve in 1914, somewhere in Europe
My friends. My brothers.
The mightier the adversity, the faster the peel, and it looks as though the layers are indeed peeling off, one after the other, and fast.
Assertiveness, confidence, politeness, civility. Gone.
Kindness, humor, sympathy. Gone too.
Carelessness, compromission, cowardice, greed. Yup, we’re past them now.
All protection pads in a way, all expendables. All eventually peeling off.
Sadness, anger, rage. Wrath.
And then you reach the Blade. Naked. Sharp. Ready and willing to cut through anything and anyone standing in its way.
The Blade is the main driver, behind all others. It is the firewall of survival, inscribed in your deepest self since the dawn of time, and ultimately defining what you are, a mortal in conflict with mortality.
In our dire situation, it may seem to you that the Blade is the only master worth obeying. That bowing to it is not even a yes or no alternative, but a where and when one. That giving in to the Blade is redundant. It already has you. It already owns you. That it is just a question of peeling enough layers. A matter of pressure and time. And time is nearly up now.
Dear friends. Dear brothers in arms. It is getting dark and cold and I have little time left. I will cut to the chase before it is too late.
I pray that whatever the Blade is screaming to your ear right now, you can still hear a whisper of reason, you know, the one trying to tell you that it does not have to be this way.
Listen. It is carried by the wind across the no man’ land. Christmas Carols in Deutsch. And a distant voice calling for a truce. A Christmas Truce.
“Good evening Englishman, a merry Christmas, you no shoot, we no shoot”
And so it went on this Christmas eve in 1914, somewhere in the trenches on the Western Front amidst one of the deadliest conflicts, a moment of peace and fraternity against all odds, which went down in history as the Christmas Truce, thanks to a few men who turned a deaf ear to the calling of the Blade and chose a different path.
Let the board sound