Just Plain Foolish

Just a chance for an old-fashioned, simple storyteller to say what needs to be said.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Father's day

Sunday is Father's day, and I just sent him the card I made: a pop-up airplane with a spin-able prop. We used to fly small craft together when I was in 2nd grade, and he gave me for my 18th birthday my first actual lesson in piloting, where I got to do the takeoff and landing with a licensed instructor. In fact, the wind was higher that day than the instructor usually would have permitted a total newbie to go up in, but since I'd been flying so many years, I was just fine. I think he'll like the plane.

It's wierd facing this holiday this year, knowing that later this year, he'll be going again. I got home from work to find that he'd left a message on the phone, to see if my husband and I could come out to their place next weekend. I'm going to be calling some friends to see if I can reschedule with them so that I can go out to my parents' home then. But hearing the message just set me off. I cried. While I don't want this war for *anybody*, I feel extra super selfish - I want *my dad* to stay here.

I want a sign to hang in the air over his head: this is a nice guy, really, a doctor. He works to get healthcare for people who can't afford it easily. If only there weren't this stupid war, he'd be the kind of guy to get decent services going here. Please be nice. But then, wouldn't everyone get a sign? You know, everyone's got that light to share. Which is why folks have got to stop it with the playing politics and get the world back onto the route of solving our problems with our words.

As one of my comforts, the last time Dad went, I read both of the Terry Pratchett Discworld novels dealing explicitly with war, and I still like how he ended _Jingo_. Sir Samuel Vimes, Commander of the City Watch, puts both armies under arrest for "'Conspiracy to cause an affray,' he started to count on his fingers, 'going equipped to commit a crime, obstruction, threatening behavior, loitering with intent, loitering within tent, hah, travelling and carrying concealed weapons.'" and the whole mess is then solved when the city's leader steps in to carry on with diplomacy. That's what I love so much about the books - what solves things in the end is people talking to each other. (In fact, the author has said that he hopes that people might come to believe that we might actually solve our problems with words.)

And to all the macho posturers crying "cut and run" to any suggestion that perhaps we might put down our guns, I say, no. We helped to break it. We are now responsible for cleaning up our act and helping the people of Iraq. That doesn't mean shooting them. It means improving lives - with things like access to healthcare, roads, bridges, etc. It means asking folks with practical on-the-ground experience of peacework how to set about trying to rebuild. It means getting Haliburton the heck out out of there, and looking at actually *helping* people to rebuild their own lives, so they are invested in it and feel that they have some power in their own life, rather than whatever influence the US wants to visit next on them. It means walking humbly and saying we're sorry.

And yes, I'd even let my dad go.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Lorcan said...

My prayers for his safe return...
and peace
lor

6/17/2006 7:58 PM  
Blogger Plain Foolish said...

Lor,
Thank you. Right now, it feels like every breath is a prayer for peace. This has got to stop.

6/18/2006 9:18 AM  

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