Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What will they think of us?

Yesterday a new name was unveiled on the black marble monument that stands in the town common. A new name under the name of a new war . . . or rather an old war renamed and continued through the centuries in locations all across the globe--different civilizations, different weapons, but for the same reason: power, resources, religion.

And I wondered . . . eons from now, long after ancient wonders have turned to dust; long after Stonehenge is mere grains of sand; pyramids are flattened plains; cities are piles of rubble, and the archeologists discover us anew, what will they make of these indestructible monuments of polished black marble buried at odd angles beneath ruins across the world?

Will they deduce their purpose? Will they decipher our ancient language? What will they say about our society?

That we take pride in our countries?
That we honor our heros?
That we recognize sacrifice?
That we mourn for loved ones lost?

That we never found peace? Never made peace?

And will they learn from our sad lesson?

About Kevin T. Preach
Read Memorial Day Tears on Camroc Press review

Peace has its victories no less than war, but it doesn't have as many monuments to unveil. ~Kin Hubbard

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Only a dream~

Into the future . . .
I cried in dreams two nights in a row.

Dream one: I was at a teacher's meeting. We were planning to give an important test the next day. There was a lot of preparation to be done. At the end I thought, "Wait a minute. Someone will be giving this test to my class. I'm not responsible. I'm retired." I pointed this out to another teacher. I left the meeting and cried.

Dream two: I was waiting for an important phone call, but in the mean time had tried to get things done. I'd cut the time too close and realized my cell phone was in the car, not my pocket, so I ran to be sure not to miss the call. I found my phone already flipped open. When I said hello, it was my mother. She told me that her mother--long dead--no longer recognized her, and wasn't that funny? "It's funny," I acknowledged, "but it's also sad." Yes, my mother admitted. And I cried.

They say dreams mean something.

They say dreams work out conflicts we struggle with in daily life.

They say dreams are cathartic.

They say a lot of things.

I only know that I'd been unnaturally sad for a few days before the dreams.

I'm fine, now. Outwardly, any way. As far as I know.

But I'm willing to bet I'm struggling with change, at the very least. Things have been left behind that mattered very much--my job, for one. I thought I'd moved on, and quite happily. But there must be a residue of melancholy. My mother will be 89 soon. It makes me happy that she still remembers me; she doesn't remember much. But if ever she doesn't remember me . . . I've felt the pain already . . . in a dream.
Life is its own journey, presupposes its own change and movement, and one tries to arrest them at one's eternal peril. ~Laurens van der Post

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Life's games~

Erring on the side of caution seems reasonable. I've certainly followed the axiom now and then through the years.

I've looked before I've leaped; I've double-checked; I've played it safe rather than sorry.

I've also taken chances, risks--reasonable ones. Can you live without taking risks? Should you?

Along the line of acting cautiously in regards to the swine flu, the Center for Disease Control has placed the country at Level 5: continue with daily lives but take precautions. Wash hands. Check out symptoms. Don't panic

Common sense. I've done that for years. Especially the "continue with daily life" part.

There is a considerable amount of media hype and comment from our leaders--both Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi said they'd keep their families from traveling--that sends a message of fear. I don’t mean to make light of a potentially serious situation. Yes, it's better to be cautious where the flu is concerned, but there is such a thing as over reacting in fear.

My hairdresser has two plane trips coming up next month: one across the country to California, and one across the Atlantic to France. She had been excited, anticipating the time away. But now the swine flu has put a damper on that. She's worried, and might change her plans.

But think of this, I told her, "Suppose you stay home and catch the flu from someone here. And if you’d gone you wouldn't have."

It isn't really about the flu; it's about thinking we can control what happens to us. If we stay home we'll be safe, we think. But not necessarily, because bottom line, we have so little control. We play life like it's a game of chess, but sometimes it's a crapshoot. Life has plans. We get dragged along.

I finished reading Life Lists for a review next month in the Internet Review of Books. It was a biography of the famous birder, Phoebe Snetsinger, who was diagnosed with melanoma and given a year to live. She determined to pack that year full--no more playing it safe for Phoebe. Her cancer went into remission, then reappeared . . . several times. Twenty-five-years after her "death date," she died. Not from cancer.

So what am I saying?

Wash your hands. Stay away from people if you feel ill (and why weren't you doing this anyway?) Take precautions. Don't panic.

But mostly, continue with your daily life.