Memorial Stories

May 29, 2017 § Leave a comment

Like the great majority of the American population, I have no one in my family who died in military service. Generations of my ancestors served in conflicts from the Civil War to World War II, but no one died in combat. Five years ago I knew only one man who had been killed in Vietnam. The grief of war was an abstract thing to me. I understood Memorial Day, meaning I knew the difference between it and Veterans Day and the Fourth of July, but it still felt like a day of observance that belonged to other people. « Read the rest of this entry »

Sick of Rambo

April 11, 2017 § 6 Comments

Fred, my writing mentor for The One-String Violin, was afraid of this. “You’ll get a young editor who will reject it because it doesn’t fit the stereotypes,” he said. I dismissed it. It is so time for a new look at everything to do with the war in Vietnam, I thought, and that will be self-evident and editors and agents will pick it up in relief. Isn’t everyone exhausted from the effort it takes to buy into that Rambo thing – man against the jungle and the bad guys (who are never us), blood and sweat, violence, snarls … ? « Read the rest of this entry »

Vietnam (War or Country) and Reiki

March 17, 2017 § Leave a comment

In honor of the recent opening of my new energy healing studio, I spent several hours trying to find a way to reorganize this blog site to keep Vietnam and Reiki separate. At first it was a technical problem. How could I describe, in google-terms, that I wanted to sub-divide my site so that if I posted something about Vietnam it would stay in the Vietnam box while a post about Reiki would stay in the Reiki box, neither visible to the other? No one else seemed to want to do that, though, which made me wonder why I did. « Read the rest of this entry »

The Book, Still

February 3, 2017 § 2 Comments

220px-usns_core_t-akv-41_on_saigon_river_c1967I wondered, in the months since the election, if events had outrun my book. The war I write about seems almost quaint today. What use can telling its story be to us now? No one wants to hear any more about it anyway, right? « Read the rest of this entry »

Shoes on the Ground

December 4, 2016 § Leave a comment

shoesMaybe 4,000 veterans at Standing Rock, that’s what one of our Ithaca veterans estimates. Many of them invoke the oath they swore when they enlisted, “to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;…” They did not forget that oath, or lose their skills, or dampen their hearts. They are now, as one veteran said, where they are meant to be. « Read the rest of this entry »

Activism Nostalgia

November 21, 2016 § Leave a comment

rotate-1566280_1920There was a reason for that slogan we had, “Never trust anyone over 30.” We were on to something. We believed the Vietnam War was wrong. We believed in civil rights and women’s rights. We believed we had to be better stewards of the earth. « Read the rest of this entry »

Normalizing

November 18, 2016 § Leave a comment

wolves-58998_1920When it comes to spirit animals, or power animals, or animal allies, I have no hierarchy. I will take whatever help I can get and look for the reason that particular help showed up. In this situation, wolves have shown up and I am grateful. « Read the rest of this entry »