Writing War At Home

Truth and Lies

Our group, Writing War at Home, is starting a new series on lies, a topic we touched on in January and thought we should return to. The prompt was: “How is truth manipulated to serve the ends of war-making? Why would lies be thought to be necessary? Are lies ever justified? What is a lie, anyway? Are lies something political opponents tell? Does “our side” lie? Do we ourselves lie unwittingly? What is truth?”

Of course that is way too much for one prompt, which may be why we have come back to the topic. But for that day, the following was my response. (more…)

The Journey, Part Two

I am doing final editing of Seeking Quan Am and there were days – heck there were weeks and months – when I never thought I would be able to say that. It is making me humble and grateful. I’ve written acknowledgements to those who supported the life of this book, but now I want to acknowledge those authors who profoundly influenced this project, a list that constitutes the second part of The Journey in a Book List. Over the course of this project I have read or dipped into a small library of books, but there are a few that I just keep coming back to, for different reasons. (more…)

The War Against the Land

Many of the soldiers who fought in Vietnam saw it: the extraordinary beauty of the land they had come to destroy. They took note of the rich natural diversity, lush growth, and dazzling colors – and then called in napalm, dioxin-laden defoliants, and bombs so massive they lifted the tops of mountains. Such measures were “necessary,” it was said. Collateral damage. Acceptable loss. (more…)