Trying not to stay in the dark place too long. That "a human neckbone at his feet" phrase, those four horrific iambs, became an obsessive mantra yesterday when I was pounding around the neighborhood, trying to walk off the effects of grading 40 freshman papers, and struck by a commentary from Iraq I'd heard earlier on NPR. And I'm so worried about the bees. What are we doing to this beautiful world?
Iraq: The Big Story of the new generation. My husband's two sons, probably immune; my stepson from my first marriage, probably old enough at 37 to escape. My nephew, an electrician, robust and smart -- probably immune. But these young kids whose names and pictures show up every night on the Lehrer News Hour and every Sunday on This Week with Stephanopoulos, damn, my friends, they are children, and most of them are from the small towns of America, as others have aptly noted. Children. And those who don't die -- come home carrying the memory of horror in their hearts. We will have something immense and dark and troubling with us for decades to come. I hope we have enough love to take them in and give them what they need to heal.
But I'd promised myself not to stay in the dark place. Listening to Dylan, "Love and Theft," my favorite cuts "Mississippi" and the sweet "Moonlight." Earlier, I let myself be awash in a gorgeous CD of Tongan music my San Bruno friend Emile Hons passed along a couple of weeks ago -- the soothing harmonies of Kuila -- with dogs barking in the background. Oh, that takes me back to those languid kava parties in 'Osamu's little oval hut of long ago. It makes me feel better to hear these peaceable songs and sip a little wine and relax. Here's to finding pleasure after a dip into the dark places. Here's to music that soothes the savage breast.
The soft or shrill voice within us
7 years ago