Friday, December 26, 2014

- On the second day of Christmas: The sounds of war and peace

This is my stitching nest ...

where I get to look out the window at the sun and moon rises (although the clouds will obscure that today) ... where Jude's September Window rests by my elbow ... where my latest projects and flosses and bits of cloth overflow the ottoman ... where my coffee cup with its Grace diamond slowly cools. 

And through it all, my ever-patient spouse is uncomplaining, though he is a most orderly lover of order. Lucky me ...

This year I did not finish all the Christmas presents on time ...

And that's okay ... the little grandpeople are still too young to be slaves to the world's calendar. Their books will be done in good time, the right time for them.

Right now I am stitching the words to James Taylor's You Can Close Your Eyes. I've decided that I most enjoy using a simple backstitch with a single strand of floss worked over two layers of cloth ... for now. The song, the lullaby that I sang to my girls, has been running through my head as I stitch each letter.

But this morning it was replaced with the bittersweet Soldiers, with the words not quite right, but as I remembered them ... 
Just nine lucky soldiers had come through the night
Half of them wounded and barely alive
Just 9 out of twenty were headed for home
With 11 sad stories to tell

I remember quite clearly when I got out of bed
I said "Oh good morning what a beautiful day"
Perhaps it was because of the recent news reports about the 1914 Christmas cease fire ... more likely because my mind has been chewing on The Interview ... comparing it unfavorably with the two anti-Vietnam war movies that made their point far more subtly than satirizing the assassination of a real person, however ridiculous that person might be.

I am speaking, of course, about M*A*S*H which made its point from the vantage of the Korean War (how ironic I realize as I write this) and The King of Hearts, from the even more remote World War I (really, I didn't realize how interconnected all these ponderings were).

And that made me think of September 11 ... how for the briefest time there was a unity of understanding about civility and the inappropriateness of coarse, insensitive humor at the expense of others. There were no jokes about the towers ... movie openings were cancelled for so-called action films ... people were kinder, gentler to each other.

Until they/we weren't ... how easily we slipped back into the swaggering jingoism ... the self-justification ... the self-righteousness that refuses to see how actions affect others ... that lead so insidiously to war.

So now I'm thinking of Mark Twain's War Prayer ... and the song that is playing in my head is Blowin' in the Wind.

I bid you peace and hope for Solace ...