After a bit of struggle the MT version of my blog has come to. It is still being developed, and I have a number of things to get down pat before I can really launch the site, but for now, these words.
Month: May 2003
Soldier and Citizen
It has been a while since I wrote about my thoughts and feelings about what is happening in Iraq. It’s not that I no longer feel strongly about it, but that there is nothing clear to focus on. Everything seems in utter chaos. And so much of the news is just sad. More and more people getting killed and behind it all, more and more of the American government slipping away untouched, getting away with all their lies and deceit.
I’ve been keeping up with the news in a number of different places, but mainly I am seeking more personalized and eye-witness accounts of what is really happening. I’m trying to make out a more realistic and human picture of what is happening every day, not just the awful stuff from the big media. Two sites, one a blog ( Salam Pax ) by an Iraqi living in Bagdad, and one an online journal from an American soldier ( Sgt. Rock ) sort of give me better views from average people. I often disagree violently with the American soldier, especially his going into another country and assuming so many things without knowing a thing about its people or culture, and especially with his being so easily influenced by the American media. Still, if I want to understand what is happening in the world today, I must listen to everyone… really listen. Sgt. Rock is a human being and a good person. Going to Iraq to kill people is not what he wants to do with his life. I have to remember that as I read his words. All he really wants to do is go home and be with his family.
Salam on the other hand presents a lot grimmer picture of what is happening. His letters and depictions of his friends and family and what he sees on the streets really opens your eyes to how terrifying and chaotic war really is. The letter about the bombing was numbing to read. There is a real person, a person like you and me, being subjected to the horror of the bombs that appear like video games on TV.
The contrast of the two has made me both hopeful and sad. Both of them respect the other side and have made a real effort to talk with people on the other end. It is interesting to watch Sgt. Rock’s letters change as he spends more time in Iraq and gets to know people there. Salam is trying to come to terms with what the occupation means to him and his country. His expression of deep pain when he watched a beloved building being destroyed revealed what a lot of Iraqi’s must be feeling.
I hope that one day both sides will have a better understanding and respect for one another out of individuals’ experiences like these.
Too much time sitting in front of the computer. It’s Spring out there and I’m missing it! And there I had been telling myself that I would work hard to strengthen myself and get ready for the mountains this summer. I’ve got to start to get back in shape today. The mountains are calling and I won’t miss them this year!
What a Week It’s Been!
What a week it’s been! A week of intense study, a week of learning, a week of frustrations, and a week of conclusions. The biggest news, for me that is, is that yesterday I FINALLY paid off my university student loans!
*small private celebration “(^?^)/” *
I also FINALLY figured out how to reinstall my wife’s Windows setup (could anybody tell me why anyone would subject themselves to such a mad computer system?) and get it onto the home network I have set up here. She’s back online now!
It’s exciting when the brain is active and there are new things to learn and be busy with. This Spring has been more than just a reawakening. There are new shoots sprouting, too, from long dormant seeds.
Took a run this evening along the river near the apartment. Twilight had overcome the earlier fiery sunset and it had gotten cool enough to need a windbreaker as I ran. It had been a long time since I felt so light and agile and, deciding to take the run slowly, it seemed as if the passage of concrete and soil beneath my feet slipped past without effort. Something about today seemed to awaken the animals, too. As I left the path that followed the river and descended to the overgrown trail next to the river itself, the air was filled with bats swirling about my head. Some passed close enough to hear the soft batter of their wings. Spot-billed ducks watched me warily from the water and everywhere cats stalked among the tall stands of grasses.
It was a perfect blend of tranquility and energy. A whisper of the world long before we plastered over it.