Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Watching the wheels go 'round...

So many posts I've written in my empty head these last weeks, though never getting them transcribed...

My son's house is on the market finally- for what it is and it's price I'm confidant it will sell quickly, though there are a few odds and ends that still need doing. The sign went up in his yard a week ago, and after a day to recover I spent the next one taking care of the lawn and gutters I'd neglected during all the other chaos going on in my life. Today I'm glad as the rain from Tropical Storm Hermine is just south of me now and we're supposed to get up to a foot of it in the next 36 hours or so.

What spare time I've had, snatches of a few minutes here and there I've been reading a memoir. "Last Night I Dreamed of Peace" I heard about in an NPR interview before I retired and bought it last holiday season with a gift card I received. Transcribed from diaries saved by the intelligence officer told to burn them, it is the diaries of a lady doctor serving her country in the combat zones of Vietnam in the late 60's until her death in 1970. I can't help but think of the doctor killed in Afghanistan, Karen Woo. In reading her blog (reference is a link to the story, her name is a link to her blog) I feel guilty sitting here in the relative comfort of my living room...

Dang Thuy Tram's memoir is especially poignant for me as a few years later I was off the Vietnam coast on the Kittyhawk, serving with pilots who probably overflew her and that she refers to in her writing; most certainly with aircraft that did. Her references to "us" have a lot of the same rhetoric I hear being used to describe others by many of "us" today...less than human terms...terms that not only imply a lack of understanding, but a lack of intent to ever understand.

I am always awed by the intolerance of this world...be it by one religion for another...one race for another...awed and sickened!

A beautiful artist I know through this blog world has recently been asked to leave a venue she loved because of someone else's intolerance for her. She has a knack with brush that touches my soul, yet someone can't see the beauty in her work and has decided that she has no right to show it.

I see the news of religious intolerance in New York and Florida...

Churches burning in other states...

Tea Party people asking for instruction manuals for "Wyoming displays" ...

The "enlightenment" I thought was beginning two years ago...a great age of tolerance and understanding that would lead us to great things is being overshadowed by those who fear losing their grip on power, be it the power of money or the power of "control". Those who would rather drag us kicking and screaming back to the 19th century instead of entering the one we are in.

Finally bringing me to my own point of intolerance!

Because I refuse to let them do that...to me, to you; to my grandkids or yours!

"Over the last three years, most victims of terrorism have been Muslim. So there’s not a war between Muslims and non-Muslims, but between extremists and moderates of all the religions. ... What is important is not to live in fear. The most dangerous [thing to do] is to give up and lose hope. The main enemy is not terrorism or extremism, but ignorance"
Queen Rania of Jordan

That applies to so much in this world!

Or, in the words of someone wise beyond his age:

"We will never have true civilization until we have learned to recognize the rights of others."
Will Rogers-1924


May the week be kind to each of you!

alan







10 comments:

robin andrea said...

The political climate in our country these days has left me speechless. I could have never imagined it being this bad, and yet now I have fear that it will only get worse. With the decline of the middle class comes anger and despair. When you add ignorance to the mix, it can be extremely volatile.

zilla said...

"terms that not only imply a lack of understanding, but a lack of intent to ever understand"

bingo

much too much of that going on


my best hope is that we as a nation are like a giant pimple finally coming to a head so the infection can be released in order for healing to begin

Connie in FL said...

You always put the words together so very well. Amazing. "Give Peace a Chance" is more than a song title... I've been hoping for it ever so long.

CrackerLilo said...

This post is absolutely beautiful. So many people who claim to be protecting children or grandchildren are actually hiding behind them in order to justify intolerance. You really mean it.

I'm scared by how our society is doing, too. Like you, I thought Obama's election was a sign that America had grown up a bit. I think Robin Andrea has a point when she talks about the shrinking middle class. When people are suffering economically, they look for scapegoats. I read an article at the beginning of this recession saying that witch hunts increased in times of famine or economic distress. I see that happening here--and now there's even fire!

I should probably get my hands on that book. I've read history as an American--generally from a conqueror's-eye view.

Also, I know how it feels to "write" a squillion blog posts in my head, but not actually have them get to my fingers!

Dr. Deb said...

I enjoy reading memoirs and will put that on my list.

Anji said...

Human beings get in the way all of the time. As always, an excellent post.

Sassy said...

The most dangerous thing to do is give up and lose hope. You are so right.

Heidi said...

((( Alan)))..Just felt like giving you a hug.

Naukishtae said...

Your blog Alan as always is so intune with the world we live in.. your insight, so on target.. I am sorry I have not been around for a while.. but care for my spouse always must come first.. But you my friend.. touch my soul.. all of these coments are so on target.. thank you for posting Alan.. you are special to me...

Naukishtae

fineartist said...

Well said and quoted, I just wanted to come in and hug your neck too.