Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The news this week

It's time for more of those random thoughts on life in general.

The news this week haunts me. Now, news on the web includes the pictures and profiles of people who were killed on Monday in Virginia. I haven't been able to read much of their stories. It is so tragic, such an unnecessary loss of life, of living—all those potential moments gone.

I'm also haunted by the shooter—how his writing seems like it wasn't a path out for him but another weapon for him to use. All of the stuff around writing—the classes and evaluations and rejections—can be hard. But the actual act of writing is for me a chance to transcend, or escape, that other stuff. It is, on my best days, a gift I give myself.

But that didn't work out for him.

I hope that the families and friends of the people who were slain can find some way to give themselves eventually a way to heal—whether it's writing or painting or running or cooking. Whatever will work.

And today in the mail, my younger son received his first recruitment brochure—not for some fancy schmancy East Coast college, but for the Marines. This initiated a conversation about the D word: DRAFT.

Some people say there will not be a draft, that the United States public wants to pull out of the war. Some say that everyone should share the burden of the war. The idea of another draft scares me.

Today in Baghdad, four large bombs exploded, and more than 170 people were killed. That's just in one city. That doesn't count the people who were injured.

Sometimes, maimed is a better word.

Having grown up during the Vietnam War, I could find no positive percentage in invading Iraq. I wasn't convinced about Afghanistan—but at least there was a connection that looked logical. Now, Afghanistan is still not a stable place and Osama bin Laden, our original culprit, has slipped mostly out of the U.S. headlines.

I realize that I'm telling you what you already know. Forgive me, today. Please be my choir.

I had an errand to do, and as I walked up the hill, I thought about all the people who have died during the Iraq war—all the military people, all the Iraqi people—and all the people who have lost their loved ones and their homes. I thought about the librarian in Baghdad.

I know that some people in Iraq are working on creative solutions. But in a broader, big-picture way, the "deciders" still seem to be relying on shock and awe instead of investigating creative solutions to the violent situation that we created. And the more violence, the more diluted and narrow the world conversation becomes.

Thank you for listening.

I wondered whether writing poetry could help the families and friends of those wounded or killed to process their loss and their grief. I found some poems and stories on the Voices in Wartime website. I imagine there is more. I hope so. Or whatever will work.


Judith Skillman said...

Just checking: can I comment here yet? I'm not sure...I like what you wrote about the VT killings and the war in Iraq, Joannie/judith

Judith Skillman said...

I agree and heartily endorse your writing of today re: the VT killngs and the Iraq war.

Judy Skillman