Monday, June 1, 2015

Memorial Day

The sun shines. The sun shines through the skylight. The sun shines through my eyelids. The inside of my skull glows.

Thoughts of war fill my head as I wake. It is a day to remember but I am confused. I think of our million-year ancestors and wonder at the gifts they gave us in tiny genetic packages. Strong spines, forward looking eyes, and the urge to conquer through violence. We call them primitive, these early hominids, but the first story on my oh-so-advanced electronic device is about war. Who is more primitive - the club wielder who attacks his neighbor, or the business people who develop ever more sophisticated ways to kill larger numbers with less personal involvement?

I remember. I am reminded daily by the men on the street corners who are broken and asking for help, though the only true cure would be a time machine to take them back before they were scarred into helplessness. I remember the cold maps with their arrows. I know how to translate the advances into casualties. I remember those lessons. My heart sinks, knowing that memory isn't enough.

The sun shines. The inside of my skull glows. I am become a being of light. I shine. I open my eyes and it is bright. I am safe and warm. There is blue sky. I have my children with me, and today we will remember, and maybe, just maybe, their generation will learn the right lesson. Before that, there is bacon, and there are cinnamon rolls.

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