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Duende48: The Sun

Duende48: The Sun

On a cloudy day in September 1945, Army General Douglas MacArthur gave a speech onboard the USS Missouri. Standing in front of him were the representatives of the Japanese Empire. Between them was a small table with the surrender documents.

Surrender of Japan - USS Missouri.jpg

MacArthur said:

It is my earnest hope, and indeed the hope of all mankind, that from this solemn occasion a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past -- a world founded upon faith and understanding, a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom, tolerance, and justice.

The moment the document was signed, and the official end to the Second World War, the sun poked through the clouds and washed the deck in sunlight.

A person of faith might find comfort in that moment, and recall the promises of the past when men brought about destruction. Back then, it was a rainbow. For a fleeting moment, on the 2nd of September, 1945, it was the sun.

In Duende47, I looked at the moment Romeo first fell for the 13-year-old Juliet. Five days later, they killed themselves in the name of everlasting love.

John Everett Millais. The Death of Romeo and Juliet, 1848.

In this study, possibly for a larger painting that never eventuated, Millais dramatises the last scene of Romeo & Juliet.

Juliet has her hand draped over Romeo's body, and presumably Lady Capulet is cradling her daughter's head.

The Prince, ruler of Verona, ends the play with the following lines:

A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head:

The fathers of the two lovers declare a truce for their war. Their peace treaty will be a golden statue of Romeo and Juliet.

For Shakespeare, the death of two impetuous teenagers is of such sorrow that the sun will not peek through the clouds.

But when the floods recede, or the last bullet shot in a war that killed tens of millions, the sun will appear.

I guess the point here is always to look at the bigger picture. It might seem, as the Prince concludes his mini sonnet,

For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.

There is plenty of woe that is more woeful than two teenagers getting their wires crossed (the opening lines say they are star-crossed).

Stay alert to the bigger picture. Once you do, the sun will show his head.