December 7, 2009. Sixty eight years ago the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Today we remember. Or at least some of us remember.
I don’t understand.
It is 6:00 am and I stare at my computer screen and the piles of paperwork, bills, mail, things unfinished that surround it, all reminders that I need to focus on something besides ‘writing’. But the American flag that came off of a uniform of a young man serving in Iraq grabs my focus, and throws me off kilter.
Last night a phone call made me all too keenly aware that the normal reaction to terrible things is to banish them from our consciousness. Some things are too terrible for words. So then why would I want to write them and put them into words for somebody to read – when nobody wants to read them? I think - why would I want to breathe?
I write to find out who I am. I write to find out what I feel. I write to inspire to motivate. I write so nobody will forget. I write to remember. It is an expenditure of energy to write and to weave ones thoughts into words. Sometimes it is exhausting.
Yes, perhaps what happened in Hawaii sixty-eight years ago remains unspeakable. And yes our young men today, at this very minute, are fighting and dying in countries called Iraq and Afghanistan and the stories are sad and sometimes torturous. But they are true. You can’t change reality. We need to remember. We need to hear and accept responsibility for these young men and women who give all.
Are you sick of hearing it? Do you try to sweep it under the carpet like so many dust bunnies - out of sight out of mind? What if they felt like that about this country and about our freedom? Not thinking about the things that happen, does not spare us. Goodness knows, if we hear about them or the people caught in the aftermath of these things, we hurt. And goodness knows we can’t hurt.
You don’t need to read what I write, but you do need to remember what they gave and what they still give so that you have the freedom to select what you want to read and what you want to discard from your life, if it requires you feel.
How do you move sad mountains? Sometimes we can’t and sometimes we have to have compassion and empathy and love and caring. Sometimes we are better people because we feel another’s pain.