“Fly, thought, on wings of gold” says the well-loved “Va, pensiero” chorus from Verdi’s opera Nabucco. As if sung by the Hebrews in captivity in the land of Nebuchadnezzar where “we hung our harps on the willows, sat down by the waters of Babylon and wept for you, Zion”, Verdi gives the text a reverential, solemn, unforgettable melody.
The peace-imaginers Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr, Cochise, Shabbona, Yeshua bar Mariam of Nazareth, all dare to imagine peace while their people live oppressed. Their spiritual music flies on wings of gold.
The “golden wings paradox” encapsulates the problem of jihad. Continue reading