War and Peace in Hue

December 20, 2013

Where was I in January 1968?  8th grade, Curran Junior High School, Bakersfield California, hanging out with Maureen and Laura and singing the sound track to “Oliver” in Mrs. Lee’s classroom at lunchtime.  So why do I feel sad here?  It is visceral experience, for me, of how the Vietnam war affected my generation, even if I was just a kid when it was going on.   Tet Offensive and Walter Cronkite somehow got through my adolescent haze.  Today, as we were taking a boat down the Perfume River to see a pagoda I realized that this country, Vietnam, has moved on.  Forty-five year later there are still reminders in the war museums of “American Imperialism” being pushed back and on the streets it is business as usual.  In fact, quite a great deal of capitalism in this communist country.

I believe that I will be processing this experience for a bit longer.  And I had a thought.  Before we go to war again, wouldn’t it be a great idea to send a group of students and mothers and teachers and clergy to the country that we are preparing to attack.  And bring to our country their same representatives.  And let these representatives spend a couple of months together, just people, no governments.  And if this group feels that bombs and guns are the answer, then carry on.  Somehow I believe that a different solution might become apparent.

The bonsai at the pagoda and Citadel were amazing.

The bonsai at the pagoda and Citadel were amazing.

Young women at the DMZ bar, very happy to pose with their beer bottle tree.

Young women at the DMZ bar, very happy to pose with their beer bottle tree.

Adornment at the Citadel in Hue.

Adornment at the Citadel in Hue.

Captured planes of the "American Imperialist" forces

Captured planes of the “American Imperialist” forces

Non OSHA approved equipment.

Non OSHA approved equipment.

9 royal bronze urns for the emperor.

9 royal bronze urns for the emperor.

Laughing Buddha at the Perfume Pagoda.

Laughing Buddha at the Perfume Pagoda.

My memorial for the fallen.

My memorial for the fallen.

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September 15, 2010

Inspired by a writing prompt from Writing Alone and With Others

What matters?  Honesty matters.  Not that I would flat out lie to you.  Self deception is the puzzle to be solved.  Is the voice saying “Go For It” the voice of my Higher Self or the voice of self destruction.  Self destruction should be an oxymoron.  For some, it probably is.

Family matters.  Which family?  Family of homo sapiens. Family of sentient beings.  Family of Origin.  Expanding the family that matters matters.

Water matters.  My body is over 50% water.  The infant I hold, over 75%.  I have the privilege to sit beside an alpine stream running through granite mountains.  In silence I watch the brown trout, swimming in place waiting for a meal to appear.  Every human has the right to clean water.  Water rights matter.

Scribbling words on a page matters.  Thoughts translated to words, transcribed to the page.

Love matters.  Honestly.  Love of family, of the earth, of the creative process and going for it.  Love of exploration matters and failure matters.  Starting over matters more than giving up.