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Sick of Rambo

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 more

Vietnam (War or Country) and Reiki

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 more

The Book, Still

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 more

Shoes on the Ground

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 more

Activism Nostalgia

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 more

Normalizing

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 more

Leveling Up

wolf-1341881_1920This is for those who are devastated and heart-broken by the implications of our national election. Those who are self-righteous or triumphant are way down my list of priorities right now. Read more

Give yourself three days

wolves-1400819_1920If you woke up this morning stunned and grief-stricken, here is a plan.

For three days you get to: Read more

Support and Defend …

constitutionI, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; …

Several themes emerged from the conference at Chautauqua that surprised me … and should not have. At least two speakers, veterans, cited this oath as one of their motivations for enlisting. It was for them a solemn moment when they raised their hand and swore to defend the Constitution of the United States of America. But, they reminded us, one does not have to enlist to do this. Supporting and defending the Constitution is the right and responsibility of all Americans. It comes with citizenship. Read more

Assumptions

table-and-wine-glassI had dinner recently with someone I had known from my neighborhood for several years. She wanted to get us away from our construction chaos, give us a very welcome break. I have known her only as kind and community-minded. She makes a point of greeting new neighbors, signing them up for the listserv, and inviting them to the picnic. She offers to help and she does. She is a few years older than I am. She carries memories. Read more