Just Plain Foolish

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

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A calmer miscelleny

Last night was a good thing. I had dinner with friends - latkes and soup. And the best part was afterwards, sitting around and just talking. A friend showed me the squares she'd crocheted, and another showed me the wool she'd spun that she would let us use for the project, including some really gorgeous wool dyed with madder to a very cheerful orange. And it turned out that I also know the woman who dyed the wool. Wow. My heart just bloomed with the love and wonder of that moment, those incredible gifts of time that my friends were giving toward this project.

You see, I'm making a blanket to send my dad made of patched together squares, to show him that there are other folks out there worrying for him and praying that he comes back well. Any extra squares will get made into another blanket to be sent to the local veteran's home. My previous projects were a hat and slippers. They're my yarn therapy. (And my holiday gift from one of the friends working with me on this project was several skeins of a bright blue angora yarn. Ooooh.)

As we sat and talked, they even listened to my worries about dad's health when he came back last time. An unexpected sound could send him under a desk even right before they sent him again. My dad, the guy who used to love going on unexpected "explores", the guy who kept his cool even when I was learning to drive and nearly fishtailed us off the road right by a large quarry, was so upset leaving this time that he made the security arrangements so Mom could go with him and hold his hand right up to the moment of boarding. I want my dad back, and I want him back whole. I want to be able to eat at a restaurant with him without worrying whether the traffic will cause him to jump. I don't want to sit with him as he stares blankly at a television that's been off for a while, seeing I don't know what, but that's what I'll be doing when he comes back.

I hate this feeling that the war sits on my shoulders in a way that it doesn't sit on most of our lawmakers' shoulders. I wonder in what world of delusion some of them are sitting to imagine we can take the additional burden of an expanded presence. I wonder how many will sit this season, half hearing Christmas carols and sermons invoking peace on Earth and goodwill to man, and keep them in a completely separate compartment from the war that is being waged in our names, and in the name of the "Prince of Peace". And do not mistake: it is. I think the speech that made me the most angry at my father's homecoming was the minister who blessed the returning troops, making it very clear that Jesus was blessing their fight against the Foe. My mom, who is Christian, said afterwards that she had been very uncomfortable herself and couldn't imagine what it had been like for my husband and myself. I wondered what it must have been like for the young woman in hijab, holding her young child (obviously born during the early part of the deployment) in her lap.

I don't believe my dad should have to shoulder for one more second a war that our "leadership" believes so little in that their families don't go. Does Laura Bush sit up to all hours, worrying about the conditions her daughters are living in? Send regular care packages to the troops? Think about where to find individually packaged condiments so that sand doesn't get in or the stuff go bad? Have those beautifully manicured hands made hats, cooling wraps, scarves, slippers, neck protectors? Has she turned on her computer, half afraid to look, praying there would be an email message?

Today is the darkest, shortest day of all the year for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. Soon, the days will begin again to lengthen, the sun will return, and night will give way to day. We try to light the night with candles and bright Christmas trees and Yule logs and other ways of asking the sun to return soon, and I find myself lighting a spark of hope inside me that with the longer days, the returning light will bring out that Brighter Light in all of us, leading us in the ways of Peace.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear fFriend

I am holding thee and thine in the light, during these terrible times.

I have worried about friends in this war, lost one dear friend to this war, and I think, more than any war I have lived through, to see so much pain built on so many contemptable lies, by a generation in the White House that has taken so little personal risk, while denigrating the efforts of those who served, well... I find myself without words or much consolation. It is a war that more than most expresses to me that war is the enamy, the only enamy to fear.

Thine in the light

12/22/2006 3:31 AM  
Blogger Plain Foolish said...

Thanks, Lorcan. I know, even when I'm feeling miserable about this that there are people standing with me, but I'm infuriated that our "leadership" hasn't even requested that ordinary Americans try to conserve energy. "Go thou, take thy SUV to the Mall and worship there with thy Dollars." while families like mine struggle through, carrying so much on our backs, with nothing but empty words of thanks as a repayment. If they really wanted to express how much my dad's service has meant, they'd get him the treatment he needs and get him back to caring for his patients here.

12/22/2006 7:59 AM  

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