Friday, March 10, 2006

Those Perfect Snowflakes

It's snowing today, white, drifting flakes. The hillsides are white, the trees dusted with silver. My youngest woke me early, wanting to go out to see the snow falling, and falling.
In town it is a rare thing; usually we get rain in the winter, floods and surges and mudslides. In the hills, yes, sometimes a snow storm or two, but not in the town, which is at a lower elevation, near the river.
It being Friday, I stood this evening down the street in my woman in black vigil, a black scarf wrapped round my head for warmth, gloves on, my breath white, my feet cold. My environmentalist friend is snowed in, and Sara was enroute to the airport early this morning; others who now and then stand are out of the country or beyond the open highways today.
The times I stand by myself are often the best times of all for me. To be in one place, watching the clouds, tasting the snow filled air. To be still and mindful.The ravens did not seem to like today's snow, and huddled in the big redwood tree near the church, murmuring raven complaints in soft voices.
I held two boards with numbers on them; estimated Iraqi civilian deaths; US military deaths.
The numbers grow alarmingly, week after week, and as I stand I try to bring to mind actuality, not number.
Today I had one other number in mind, one other soul, having just heard that Tom Fox's body had been found. He was a member of the Christian Peacemaker Teams; three others are still in captivity somewhere. Actually, thousands, thousands, are in captivity throughout the world held by governments or fools, held for money, power--or for something I don't know and can't comprehend. I read the reports from Guantanamo, from the so called "black prisons" (the secret sites where people accused of this or that are hidden, tortured, god knows what). I read obsessively, and correspond, and publish a newspaper, and...
and stand in the snow, with grief and some numbers on my heart.
I watched the snowflakes drifting, remembering childhood wonder: each is different. Each is unique. Each is beautiful. There were so many snowflakes.
There are so many souls.
Oh yes, I know in the long run, in eternity, it should all work out. But there are times I am too impatient for eternity, too battered by the seemingly useless, unneeded deaths of bright souls.
I thought this evening of how mothers have stood holding the photographs of the disappeared, of their husbands or children, or fathers or other dear ones. I thought the numbers on my boards were like those pictures, an infinite and terrible swirl of loss and longing.
I want the world to grow up, beyond war and terror. Or to be forever about four years old, bright faced, seemingly invincible, watching the lovely snow drift from the sky.


Blogger marlyat2 said...

Raven, snow, redwood: colors out of an old, cruel fairy tale in which a wounded fox, peacemaker to the world, is limping away across the drifts, leaving a bloody track...

6:13 AM, March 11, 2006  
Blogger LiVEwiRe said...

'To be still and mindful.' It would seem that the time you spent there has again gifted you with meaningful thoughts to share with the rest of us. I am always grateful for that. You really are an inspiration.

9:01 PM, March 12, 2006  
Blogger David said...

Strange that you have snow, while we in Indiana have rain! Enjoy it while it lasts! :)

I heard about Tom Fox. It was quite sad news. He and his friends were just there to help. His captors seem to be without heart or conscience. So, I hope that the others are found and freed, as I doubt they will be let go alive.

I saw recently that the former spokesman for the Taliban is now a student at Yale University. He was interviewed by one of the networks. He entered the U.S. on a legal visa. He said that he was lucky that he got out of Afghanistan before he was captured by the Americans, as he would probably have ended up at Guantanamo. It is way past time that those and other prisoners are brought into the light of day and given a fair hearing!

Btw, I have a recent Apolitical post that you may not have seen yet. Also, I am going to start posting my Senator's response letters.

12:57 AM, March 13, 2006  
Blogger a dracul said...

two things, is that all you got, christian peacemakers my arse by the way, they went to spy or gain information i am sure it was a worthy aim, you can't put down insurgents if you don't know where to find them, they released the others by the way, this must be quite an old post, i am sure we aren't allowed to admit to negotiating with the enemy, we can only negotiate with those with whom we are already in agreement and who do not espouse violence.

seriously is that all you got, one day in eternity it will all make sense, my arse.

none of it makes sense, bloody hurts when you stay battered though eh, then you get really angry, then you bargain get depressed then get resigned to the way things are, marvelous how about we don't do that i haven't got any further than that, apart from a small six person team could get regime change in the cosmos, ok realistically no chance of destroying the god or gods of all creation.

but are you just gonna stand there, sure you look impressive in a distance shot especially in black blonde i am guessing fading tan, snow, choose your incidental music wisely,

ok i gossip too much i am unreliable but tell me the plan if i am ever interrogated i'll tell them but it will sound so complicated they won't understand a word of it and the more they question me the more i'll talk. trust me tell me the plan it's the best way to keep it secret from the fuck-up in charge of the Cosmos, my name is still Desie.

6:38 AM, April 14, 2006  

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