“War’s Horror Blinds Cambodian Women”
–Alexandra Smith, IHT, 9-10 ix 89
One Cambodian woman saw Khmer Rouge soldiers tie up
her parents, cut their throats and throw them into a river.
Another saw her child bashed to death against a tree.
Ten years later, . . . , the eyes that witnessed these horrors
“They just don’t want to see anymore,” said Gretchen Van Boemel,
an electrophysiologist at the Doheny Eye Institute in
Dahil wala nang bughaw na langit
Ang makapagpapalimot sa nakita namin ngayon
Dahil sa larawan ng sanggol
Na binabalibag sa punong kalachuchi
hanggang nalagas ang mga bulaklak
at napagod ang tagahampas,
ano pa ba ang maaasahan ng aming mga mata?
Anong kuwadro o sine o anupang tanawin
anong obra-maestra ang makatutubos
sa paggapos sa aming mga tingin?
Mabuti pang kalimutan ng mata
kung paano maging mata. Mabuting
umiwas na lamang sa walang-
While functional blindness is a known functional
disorder, there has been virtually no documentation of
the condition in specific population groups.
“Usually it was something like, they saw their husbands
murdered in front of them and cried and cried and
when they stopped crying they couldn’t see.”
Sa sandali ng pagkabulag natatastas ang pagtitili
sa kanilang mga bibig
habang nagbubunga ng mga hagulgol
Anong dagat ng luha ang makasasalba
sa mundong ninyong maganda at kahanga-hanga?
“I was just crying, crying, crying
and when I stopped crying
my eyes were swollen
and I couldn’t see,” she said.
Ramón C Sunico © All rights reserved.
I have, for the longest time, been wanting to teach history. The stories of ordinary men and women whose lives were made extraordinary by their response to their times makes wonderful, awesome content for any teacher who wishes to touch lives. But the more I think about it the more frightened I am to teach. No matter how many people die at any given time, we are always quick to move on as if in anticipation of the next big bloodbath. And it always comes. How do I tell my future students about the world and it’s atrocities? How do I explain to them that men are capable of such violence?
I took a class once with one of the best teachers in school. He taught us the philosophy of hope and the more I think about it, the more it becomes clear to me that it’s one thing to talk about hope…but to have it? Tall order.