I enjoy and appreciate the poetry and writing of Jane Hirshfield. In the spring of 2007, she was invited to join the New Symposium. The subject that year was "Justice," and she was invited with other writers to the island of Paros and to travel and to hear the stories of those who have suffered, are suffering. Each place they went they met with English-speaking university students, who gathered round. She would ask what these people wanted her to tell people when she returned to the U.S., to Mill Valley, home.
"Tell them that we are just like you, we want respect, we want to fall in love, we want to study."
Afterwards they wrote papers for the New Symposium. Jane Hirshfield closed her paper with these words:
"I feel increasingly, though, that even "remedy" is the wrong word. There can be healing, but no full cure. The broken bone will always ache in the rain. [...] The effect on me of these days of conversation has been, perhaps surprisingly, an increase of grief. I've grown less optimistic and more sad. This isn't, though, a bad thing. When the arrogance of certainty loosens its grip, we loosen ours. Life is fragile, small, perennially vulnerable, and wants to be held softly. The statue of Justice, I now think, is blindfolded so we cannot see it is weeping. The scales tremble in its hand, and that is what we call balance."
Here is her essay on justice: