Life? Tornado? War?

I have realised, yet again, that life, and the way it is lived, certainly in the Western world, and by Western world, I mean the Capitalist society, is all about face. The time that I have been afforded to do what I am doing, has been earned, by virtue of the investment of energies and skills which has been compensated by a certain level of wage. An income; money, which I am free to spend on what is required to sustain mine and my family’s life. I am 68 years of this earth and to quote the Bible: –

“The days of our years are threescore years and ten, or even by reason of strength fourscore years; yet is their pride but labour and sorrow; for it is soon gone, and we fly away.”

So, to be blunt, my time is nearly up. What I am doing now, I should have been able to do with my family as they grew, not now, without them. The vagaries of a capitalistic society constantly make demands of us, big demands, heavy demands, unhealthy demands. Such demands require sacrifice and ultimate compromise, unhealthy compromise. Consider flipping it on its head. Consider a society that welcomes new life, embraces birth and actually rewards that patter of tiny feet in the form of a state bursary enabling the new recipient, when old enough, to explore the world, experience LIFE, on the understanding that the experience is reinvested in the state to complete and continue the cycle. Dream-on you might say. I do. I do indeed. Learning everyday just how important “dreams”, as some folk call them, I call them thoughts, can be. I will delve into this issue later and reveal some wonderful news.

The beginning of this week saw a tornado watch. All very exciting. The entire media keep the communities wholly informed about the proximity and potential danger of any eventual tornado. I am pleased to say, although I think I would have preferred the experience of a tornado, that it came close, but not close enough. There was rain and hail and strong winds, and thunder and lightening and flash- floods but not the jewel in the storm’s crown. Hey ho, I feel sure there will be more opportunities.

Today we visited a civil war battlefield – Blakeley. I was emotionally moved as I entered the actual field. It was flat with forest at one end and at the other a fort, protected and encircled by pointed wooden stakes set into the ground at a 30 degree angle, points aimed at the approaching aggressors. I stood for a good five minutes and imagined just what might had happened on that day, April 9th 1865, when the union forces decided to break lines and attack the confederate strong hold. I saw men falling, screaming, shouting, dieing. Guns firing, canons exploding, orders being yelled over the din, counter orders shouted back, Choas. Noisy fatal chaos. My five minutes was quick to reveal my solitude. I stood alone. Totally alone in this vast space of human suffering. I saluted the dead and wounded. This was not about winning, it was about beliefs. It was still. Silent. Not even bird song lightened the emotion. The skies above slowly greyed over and the rolling thunder might have been the canons roar from that fateful day. I turned collected my camera and found the trail out. I was safe, but felt the horror behind me living on.

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